TMJ Exercises – 3 Easy Jaw Exercises to Help TMJ Disorder

Here are a few exercises you can do by yourself at home to reduce jaw pain. These exercises will work best if you do them regularly. They often work very well in combination with other TMJD treatments. If you are wary of more drastic treatments like medications or surgery, these simple exercises can help.

Consider making a habit of these exercises by doing them everyday at a certain time of day like when you wake up in the morning, in the shower, after lunch, and/or when you go to sleep at night. Try to find two times everyday to perform these exercises, and spend at least five minutes on each exercise.

Andrew Kaplan, DMD, an associate clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, author of The TMJ Book, recommends these exercises and claims they can eliminate the strain on joints and areas around the joint. It’s important to consult with medical professionals on any treatments, including these exercises.

• Jaw muscle stretch exercise – Open your mouth and place the palm of your hand on the right side of your jaw, while sliding the lower jaw toward your hand. Push against the jaw and hold for five seconds. This creates resistance to the sideways movement. Repeat this with your left palm against your left jaw, doing this five times on each side.
• Neck stretches – Turn your head to the right to rotate your neck, and then place two left-hand fingers on the lower left jaw. Push a little to stretch your neck muscles, holding this for five seconds. Rotate your neck to the left, this time pushing with two right-hand fingers on your lower right jaw. Again, hold this for five seconds.
• Mouth muscle massage – Do this by placing three fingers of each hand on your temples. Massage the temporalis muscles gently for ten seconds. Try not to exert too much pressure. Do this two or three times. You can apply the same massage to the jaw, with your hands below the ears, massaging the masseter muscles.


Resources:
Jaw Pain on Right or Left Side (An Overview)
Jaw Pain Causes
TMJ Treatments
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB122333202166009251.html (WSJ article on TMJD/Teeth Grinding)
http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/OralHealth/Topics/TMJ/LessisBest.htm (NIH on Treating TMJD)