18 Feb How To Relieve TMJ Pain
Temporomandibular joints or TMJ are the joins that connect your jawbone to your skull. These joints are used whenever you talk, chew, swallow, or open your mouth at all. When these joints become tight, you may experience pain. If you are experiencing pain while chewing, pain in the ear, face, jaw, or neck, locking of the jaw, headaches, or clicking, grating, or popping sounds in your jaw, it may be because of your TMJ.
The pain from a sore TMJ can be dealt with in many ways. Doing exercises (listed below) to strengthen your jaw muscles will help you treat and prevent TMJ pain long term. Using a mouth guard to prevent teeth grinding and jaw clenching can also be a big help. Icing the sore area may also relieve some pain. You can also alternate between icing for 15 minutes and warm compression (try a warm towel or heating pad) for 15 minutes. Most TMJ pain comes from tension, so anything you can do to relax the muscles will be a big help. Once you relax the muscles, strengthening them is the next step to prevent the tension from returning.
6 Exercises To Relieve TMJ Pain
1. Relaxed Jaw
To do this exercise, gently open your mouth while resting your tongue on the top of your mouth behind your upper teeth. As your jaw opens, focus on keeping jaw muscles relaxed.
2. Chin Tucks
Keep your shoulders back and your chest up as you pull your chin in slowly. This will create a double chin feeling. Hold your chin in for three seconds. Repeat for 10 reps.
3. Resistant Mouth Opening
Place your thumb under your chin with slight pressure. Open your mouth slowly while your jaw pushes gently against your thumb for a little resistance. Hold your mouth open for eight seconds and then slowly close your mouth and repeat. Repeat for 10 reps.
4. Resistant Mouth Closing
Hold your chin with both hands using your thumbs and index fingers. Slowly close your mouth while placing slight pressure on your chin with your fingers. Repeating this exercise will help to strengthen the muscles you use when you chew.
5. Tongue Ups
Stretching your tongue can also work your muscles. Try touching your tongue to the roof of your mouth, keep it there while slowly opening and closing your mouth. The wider you open your mouth, the more of a stretch you’ll feel.
6. Using Tongue Depressors
Bite down on the tip of the tongue depressor with it between your front teeth. Slowly move your jaw from side to side. As you consistently do this exercise, you can increase resistance by using multiple tongue depressors stacked on top of each other.
With the tip of the tongue depressor between your front teeth, move your bottom teeth in front of your top teeth and back. Slowly practicing this movement will strengthen your jaw. You can also increase resistance by using multiple tongue depressors stacked on top of each other, making it thicker.