You may not give your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) much thought, although you use them frequently. Your skull and jawbone are joined by joints. Every time you swallow, chew, or speak, your TMJ is activated. TMJ issues develop when there is a problem with your jaw joints or jaw muscles. This is frequently caused by overuse, inflammation, or a jaw injury. If you are suffering from TMJ pain, here are some TMJ exercises that you can perform every day to relieve your pain.
Forward Jaw Movement
In between your front teeth, place a quarter-inch object. Position your bottom jaw forward so that your top teeth are behind your bottom teeth. Increase the thickness of the item between your teeth as this exercise becomes more effortless.
Side-to-Side Jaw Movement
Place a quarter-inch object between your front teeth, such as stacked tongue depressors, and slowly shift your jaw from side to side. As this exercise becomes less difficult, stack the item between your teeth one on top of the other to increase its thickness.
Slowly open and shut your mouth with your tongue gently in contact with the roof of your mouth.
Closing the Mouth with Resistance
Squeeze your chin with one hand’s index and thumb. Close your mouth and apply gentle pressure to your chin. This will assist to strengthen the muscles that allow you to chew.
Opening the Mouth with Resistance
Put your thumb beneath your chin. Slowly open your lips, softly pushing against your chin to apply resistance. Hold for around 5 seconds before slowly closing your mouth.
Pull your chin straight back, forming a “double chin,” with your shoulders back and chest high. Hold for a few seconds before repeating ten times.
Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, a finger on your chin, and another finger on your TMJ. Drop your lower jaw all the way back. To make this exercise more difficult, place a finger on each TMJ while lowering your lower jaw and back entirely. Complete one set by repeating this exercise 5 times. You should do a set 5 times a day.
Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth and one finger in front of your ear, near your TMJ. Place your pointer or middle finger on your chin. Lower your jaw halfway then shut it. Mild resistance but no discomfort should be present. A version of this exercise is to lay one finger on each TMJ while you open and close your lower jaw halfway. Perform this exercise 5 times in a row. You should perform one set 5 times each day.
The Bottom Line
TMJ disorders might resolve on their own in certain circumstances. TMJ exercises may help relieve discomfort if your symptoms continue. TMJ exercises should not be performed if you are in excruciating discomfort. Before beginning a TMJ exercise plan, it is recommended to wait until your discomfort has subsided. Begin cautiously while performing TMJ exercises. You may have some discomfort initially, but it should be manageable and eventually improve. Consult your doctor if the discomfort is unbearable.