5 Simple TMJ Jaw Exercises
If you have TMJ you have something known as Temporomandibular Joint Disorder. When your teeth don’t fit together the way they should, the muscles in your jaw and face need to work extra hard. When they tire, they can clench and tighten up. When your muscles clench and become tight, they start to put pressure on the nerves that run through them. That is when you begin to notice pain in and around your jaw and facial muscles.
TMJ symptoms can be painful
There are many signs and symptoms of a TMJ disorder:
- Headaches or migraines
- Jaw pain
- Face pain
- Ear pain, congestion, or ringing in your ears
- Aching shoulder and/or neck
- Postural problems
- Popping or clicking sounds in your jaw
- A sticking or locking jaw
If you are concerned that you might have this joint disorder there are a few things that you can do. The first thing you should do is see your Westminster dentist. He or she will carefully evaluate your jaw, teeth and bite in order to diagnose any problems you may be having with your jaw or mouth. TMJ can be caused by many a factors including an injury or trauma to your jaw, stress, grinding your teeth during the day or at night, genetics, or an underdeveloped jaw.
Relieve pain with these TMJ exercises
While your painful symptoms need the attention of a qualified dentist, there are some simple exercises and stretches you can do to relieve your pain while you undergo treatment.
Push your tongue onto the roof of your mouth and open your mouth wide. Breathe in slowly while you count to two, then breath out for two counts. Release and repeat 10 times. This exercise will give your jaw a nice stretch.
- Make a fist and place it directly under your chin. Press your fist into your chin as you gently open your mouth. Hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times. This exercise will help relax your jaw muscles.
- Use your fist to put a steady pressure against the left side of your jaw while and resist the pressure with your jaw. Hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times. Repeat on your right side. This exercise will help relax your jaw muscles.
- Place your index fingers on either sides of your jaw and apply even pressure. Open your mouth slowly. If your jaw clicks, try again opening your mouth more slowly. The pressure on each side should help your jaw open and close in alignment.
- Now that your jaw is relaxed and aligned, hold your chin between your thumb and pointer finger. Carefully wiggle your chin back and forth, allowing your jaw to release. Stop if you feel any pain.
Repeat these exercises at least once a day.
TMJ is a complex disorder. The best way to get the treatment you need to relieve your pain is to become informed. If you would like to learn more about this disorder, please download my TMJ disorder e-book. It contains tests that will help you understand more about this complicated disorder and how it might be affecting you.