If you've been diagnosed with TMJ, or temporomandibular joint disorder, it's important that you follow the treatment your dentist has prescribed. There are also some simple exercises you can do that will reduce the pain and discomfort you experience as a result of the ailment. To maximum benefit, the following exercises should be done at least twice a week.
Relax Your Jaw
If your jaw always feels tight, it could be due to jaw clenching. Unfortunately, Jaw clenching can make the symptoms of TMJ more severe. Here's an exercise that will help you relax your temporomandibular joint.
- Make a clicking sound with your tongue by gently placing the front of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
- Hold this position without letting your tongue touch your teeth.
- Press your lips together and hold.
- Keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
- Open your mouth while keeping your teeth slightly apart.
- Breathe through your nose for about 30 seconds
- Repeat this exercise for about 15 minutes, twice a day.
Stretch it out
If you have TMJ, you might notice that it's difficult to open your mouth. It's especially difficult to open your mouth wide when you have TMJ. This is because the jaw muscles constrict and become too tight. The following exercise will help loosen your jaw muscles, which will allow you to open your mouth wider.
- Make a fist and press it up against the bottom of your chin.
- Open your mouth about an inch;
- Press up on your chin with your fist.
- While pressing on your chin with your fist, slowly open your mouth and count to 15.
- Repeat the sequence at least three times.
Stabilize the Movement
TMJ can make it difficult to open your mouth in one steady motion. Instead, you may notice that your mouth opens a little bit at a time. Or it feels like it gets stuck in a certain position. This next exercise will help strengthen and stabilize your jaw.
- Place your tongue gently on the roof of your mouth.
- Using your index fingers and thumbs, grasp your chin.
- Apply pressure to your chin.
- Open and close your mouth while holding on to your chin.
- Continue applying pressure and move your jaw from side to side.
- Repeat this exercise three times a day.
If you suffer from TMJ, it's important that you exercise your jaw. Exercises can help relieve the pain and discomfort associated with TMJ. In addition to the treatment your dentist has prescribed, use these simple exercises to help improve the motion in your jaw.