TMJ-Friendly Foods for the Fall

Fall is the time when cool, refreshing foods get replaced by warm, hearty dishes. Diet is a significant part of TMJ pain management, and as always the goal is to find soft foods that can be eaten in small, bite-sized pieces. While this may seem to limit your options, there are actually many fall foods that expand a TMD diet plan.

 Butternut Squash Soup


During the summer most soups are out of the question, because it’s just too hot. When the cooler weather starts creeping in soups become an excellent choice for lunch or dinner. The options are endless, but it’s best to steer clear of soups that have chunks of chewy meat in them. Soups to add to the menu this fall include:

Chili – It’s a great source of protein and a good way to satisfy a craving for red meat. Just make sure to break the ground beef into very small pieces.

Tomato Soup – Pair it with a soft grilled cheese sandwich, which can be cut into pieces and dunked into the creamy tomato puree.

Potato Soup – Even if the potato chunks are sizable they are soft enough to split with a spoon. Add crumbled bacon pieces for an extra kick and another source of protein.

 Pumpkins background


The squash family flourishes in fall and winter, and all of them have one important characteristic – their nice, soft texture. The fleshy insides of squash have a consistency close to sweet potatoes when they’re cooked on the stovetop, the grill or in the oven. A few to try this fall include:

Acorn Squash – Cut the squash in half, add a little butter and cinnamon, wrap the pieces in tin foil then bake in the over at 350-400 degrees for at least 40 minutes.

Pumpkin – This classic fall favorite can be made into so many TMJ-friendly foods. There are a lot of different varieties, but the most flavorful ones for roasting are sugar pie, red kuri, Rouge Vif d’Etampes and cheese pumpkins.


 Pasta with tomato sauce and basil on blue background


Warm pastas are perfect for fall. Boiled noodles are soft and easy to chew, but you do have to be careful about what you put in your pasta mix. Bonus: Spaghetti squash can be used in place of noodles.

Oven Baked Mac & Cheese – You may have to let others eat the crunchy top if it gets too firm, but the gooey mac and cheese underneath is all yours. This is another dish that you can add bacon crumbles to for extra protein and flavor.

Spaghetti with Marinara Sauce – This meal couldn’t be easier to cook and as long as the ground beef in the sauce is small it will be easy to eat.

Fall and winter is a great time for people with TMJ disorders to enjoy all the staples and favorites of the season that everyone else eats. Just make sure to roast veggies and potatoes until they’re nice and tender and keep meats cut up as small as possible.

It’s also important to keep up with your regular exercises, massages and treatment plan for managing TMJ. If pain continues to be an issue even when you’re eating right, then it may be time to visit MedCenter TMJ to reevaluate your condition.


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