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  • Writer's pictureErienne Blanchard

Can I Eat Thanksgiving Foods with Jaw Pain?

If you have TMJ pain and are working on resolving your face and neck pain, should you avoid Thanksgiving? Should you just eat it and suffer with the consequences? Are there steps you could do to eat but not hurt?


Overview of a table set with lots of thanksgiving foods

This can be a bit difficult if your traditional foods are different than the American traditional foods. Let's talk about the common foods such as turkey, salad, green beans, carrots, sweet potato casserole, stuffing, and more.

  • Turkey depends on the moistness and toughness of the meat. I think if you were able to cut it small and perhaps use the gravy to moisten and soften it that you could enjoy some turkey.

  • Vegetables need to be cooked more thoroughly such as boiled or heavily steamed to soften them for consumption with jaw pain and dysfunction.

  • Mashed potatoes or sweet potato casseroles should be fine as they will be your softest choices.

  • Salad may not be comfortable as the heavy fiber foods will require work and to reduce the stress from the whole meal may need to be avoided for this season until your jaw is ready to try these types of foods.

  • Dessert can be okay such as pumpkin pie but perhaps the pecan pie may be too much with the hard nuts on top (pick off) to enjoy this delight.

  • Stuffing may need gravy to ensure that it is soft enough to enjoy but does not have to be skipped.

  • Casseroles need to abide by the rules above for the vegetables

You don't have to miss out on all your favorites and with some good choices and softening ways you can have a wonderful Thanksgiving. If the act of chewing becomes tiring, break up the food with some good conversation and then return to the food slowly and deliberately between great talks with family and friends.


Thanksgiving dinner with a man placing the turkey on the table in the middle of smiling family faces

You may have some pain afterward so use the pain relieving methods provided by your practitioners. If you don't have any or you don't have a practitioner, contact me and we can get started helping you have pain relieving strategies and resolving your pain.

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