TMJ Exercises- Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is an excruciatingly painful condition that affects primarily the jaw joint and jaw muscle. While everyone has a Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ), not everyone suffers from a TMJ dysfunction. As the situation gets more severe, non-drug therapies and surgery is the more suitable approach of treatment.
However, there are some exercises that have shown effectiveness in stretching and strengthening the jaw, in turn improving jaw mobility and reducing pain. Read on to know 5 best 5 effective TMJ exercises for jaw pain to do at home.
Top 5 TMJ Exercises for Jaw Pain
Jaw side-to-side exercise
For this exercise, you will need to bite down with your front teeth on an object that is one-quarter inch in thickness like popsicle sticks or a tongue depressor.
Hold the object between your teeth and move your jaw slowly from one side to the other. As you progress over time, increase the thickness of the object.
Jaw forward movement
For this exercise you will need to bite with your front teeth on an object that is one-quarter of an inch thick.
Hold the object, a tongue depressor or popsicle stick with your front teeth and ever so slowly bring your lower jaw forward. Do this so that the bottom teeth are in front of the upper teeth. As the exercise becomes easier with time, increase the thickness of the object.
The Oxford University Hospital Exercise
This is a pretty interesting exercise developed by the Oxford University Hospital to strengthen the jaw and improve jaw movement.
You need to first close your mouth and make your teeth meet without clenching. The tip of your tongue must touch the back of your upper front teeth.
Now run the tip of your tongue back to the soft palate, till you can’t go back any further without keeping your teeth together. Now slowly open your mouth till the tongue starts to pull away. Hold this position for about 5 seconds and then close your mouth and relax.
This exercise improves alignment of the head and spine and strengthens the cervical muscles.
For this exercise you need to stand up straight, with your chest out and shoulders back.
Bring your head back and tuck in your chin, while keeping your head straight throughout. Hold this position for 3 seconds and repeat this 10 times.
This exercise aims to improve the range of jaw motion.
From a comfortable position place, touch the roof of your mouth with your tongue. Now without letting your tongue drop, open your mouth slowly, as wide as you can.
Repeat this motion ten times for at least 3 times a day.
When should you take a break?
None of these TMJ exercises should cause more harm than good. If you are experiencing extreme discomfort while doing any of these exercises, you must reduce the intensity or stop doing the exercise altogether.
None of these exercises will make your TMD symptoms vanish overnight, but with consistency, you will see gradual improvement. Your symptoms will relax a bit and you will be able to align your jaws little.
When should I visit a TMJ specialist?
These exercises will help you manage your pain, but not provide a long-term solution. Many patients will have to visit a TMJ specialist who will provide a tailor-made exercise program to suit their condition. In some cases these exercises might show results, in some cases the doctors might suggest medications and therapy to alleviate the pain. Surgery is always seen as the last resort.
If you see that these TMJ exercises are not helping your situation, see a TMJ specialist immediately at Dental World Superspeciality Clinics.