Suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain can be exhausting. TMJ disorders affect the muscles and bones of the jaw and cause pain in the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. The source of pain may be the muscles responsible for moving the joint or the joint itself.
In either case, the most obvious indication of a TMJ disorder is pain felt when moving the jaw. Other common symptoms include migraines, earaches, neck aches, and pain around the ear that spreads to the cheeks. There are various treatment options for TMJ disorders, ranging from medication to surgical intervention. However, if you’re searching for a more convenient way to relieve symptoms of TMJ pain, the following 5 exercises may be beneficial.
5 Exercises to Relieve TMJ Discomfort
1. Resisted Mouth Closing: The resisted mouth closing exercise involves applying slight pressure to your chin while closing your mouth. To do this, place your thumbs under your chin and your index fingers under your lips. Next, use your fingers and thumbs to apply gentle downward pressure to your chin while closing your mouth.
2. Resisted Mouth Opening: This technique is like resisted mouth closing. To perform the exercise, apply gentle pressure to your chin while opening your mouth.
3. Side-to-Side Jaw Movement: This exercise involves moving your jaw from side to side to strengthen your jaw muscles. For this technique, gently bite down on an object about one-quarter of an inch thick, such as two tongue depressors. Then, slowly move your jaw from side to side.
4. Tongue Up: For the tongue up exercise, slowly open and close your mouth while maintaining contact with the roof of your mouth. Repeat this several times for the best results.
5. Forward Jaw Movement: Like the side-to-side jaw technique, this exercise requires a thin object. First, gently hold the object between your front teeth. Then, move your jaw forward so that your bottom teeth are in front of your top teeth. If the exercise feels too easy, replace the object with a thicker one.
How We Can Help
Although exercises for TMJ pain are generally safe and may help relieve your symptoms, they are not a replacement for professional medical treatment. Only a healthcare professional can provide a tailored exercise program to improve jaw strength and flexibility.
At Flatirons Family Dental, we are committed to helping you find the best treatment for your specific needs. If you’re experiencing pain from a TMJ disorder, we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.