What is dysphagia diet?

Dysphagia Diet
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Eating when your jaw is wired: Overview

Jaw surgery sometimes means that your jaws have to be wired shut for several weeks to heal. This makes it hard to eat. You will have to drink your meals through a straw or syringe. Liquid meal supplements, such as Ensure and Boost, help make sure that you get protein, vitamins, and minerals. They also have high-calorie versions, so you can make sure that you keep your weight up.

Your doctor may suggest that you see a dietitian to help you plan meals.

What are pureed foods?

Puree (say "pyuh-RAY") is a way to change the texture of solid food so that it is smooth with no lumps and has a texture like pudding. You can puree food in a blender or food processor. Pureed foods are important if you have trouble chewing or swallowing. Changing solid foods so they don't need to be chewed can make them safer and easier for you to swallow.

Your doctor may have you talk with a speech-language pathologist. This person can help you learn how to puree food so that it is the right thickness and texture.

How can you eat when your jaw is wired?

  • Eat soups that have been put in a blender (pureed), milkshakes, baby food, or any foods you that you can blend until they are smooth liquid. You can puree vegetables or fruits in a blender or food processor. Put milk or soy milk with yogurt or ice cream and fruit in a blender to make milkshakes.
  • Drink liquid supplements, such as Ensure or Boost, one or two times a day.
  • Try to drink or eat liquid foods 6 times a day rather than 3 times a day.
  • Sit up while you eat.
  • Swallow slowly to keep from choking.
  • Keep wire cutters with you at all times in case you throw up. Your doctor will show you how to use them.
  • After your doctor removes the wires, follow directions for what kind of foods to eat when you start chewing again.
  • Follow your doctor's instructions for cleaning your teeth and mouth.

Why is a special diet important for swallowing problems?

A dysphagia diet can help you handle some problems that can occur when it's hard to swallow food and liquids easily. These problems can include:

  • Malnutrition. This means you aren't getting enough healthy foods to keep your body working well.
  • Dehydration. This means you aren't getting enough liquids to keep your body healthy.
  • Aspiration. This means that food, liquid, or saliva goes down your windpipe (trachea) into your lungs, instead of down your esophagus to your stomach. This can lead to aspiration pneumonia, which is an inflammation of the lungs.

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