People who suffer from Temporal Mandibular Joint (TMJ) pain can find relief through a series of simple TMJ exercises. TMJ pains can range from mild to debilitating depending on the severity of the case. The temporal mandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull and is located just before the ear on each side of your head. It is not very clear what exactly causes TMJ pains although it is suspected that severe shock to your jaw, such as from a blow or whiplash contributes to developing TMJ pains.
Whatever the cause, TMJ pains can make life very uncomfortable for a person as they cause pain while chewing or when opening and closing the mouth as would when talking or yawning. In addition they can cause swelling on the face and neck as well as constant headaches. Even though it is recommended that you seek orthodontic treatment if you suspect you are suffering from TMJ pain, here are some simple exercises that could provide some relief.
Relaxed Jaw Exercise
Place your tongue on the top of your mouth while at the same time allowing your mouth to sag (teeth slightly separated) so as to relax your jaw muscles.
Open and close your mouth while holding your tongue fixed on the roof of your mouth. Do this several times
This is a relatively simple exercise that involves pulling your chin back (as to create a double chin) and staying in that position for a few seconds before repeating it again.
Resisted Opening of Mouth
This involves opening your mouth slowly while applying pressure (resisting) against the motion using a finger placed underneath your mouth.
In this exercise, you place a finger under your chin and gently open and close your mouth by dropping your jaw and then pushing it close with the finger. As you are doing this, ensure that one finger is placed right in front of the ear where the TM joint is located and that your tongue is on the roof of your mouth. Do it in sets of six motions and aim to do this six times a day.
Side-to-Side Jaw Movement
Start with an object that is about a quarter of an inch thick and place it between your front teeth. While holding it in that position, move your teeth from side to side as gently as you can. Gradually increase the size of the object between your teeth as the motions become easier.
Forward Jaw Movement
This is a variation of the side-to-side jaw movement. Using the same object in the same position as before, slide your lower jaw forward and back as gently as you can. Gradually increase the size of the object that you are using as the motions become easier.
Resisted Closing of Mouth
This is a variation of the resisted opening of mouth. Here, you squeeze your chin with your index and thumb while opening and closing your mouth.
The aim of these simple exercises is to work your TM joints and muscles so as to relieve some of the TMJ pains. Remember that it is recommended that you do not do these exercises when the TMJ pain is severe. Wait until it subsides before doing them. For more long term TMJ pain treatment, it is advisable to reach out to an expert in TMJ pain management and relief such as Dr. Alex Rubinov. With years of experience in treating TMJ pain through a variety of approaches, you will find permanent relief from TMJ pain. Call Dr. Rubinov today at (718) 253-0800 to schedule an appointment.