The TMJ joint lets you open and close your mouth. If something happens to these joints, it can cause a misalignment in your bite. When this happens, it’s common to experience symptoms like aching pain. At Caring Smiles Dental, we have a variety of TMJ/TMD treatments to help, but what are things you can do at home for pain relief? Here are five TMJ exercises:
Close your mouth and relax with your teeth slightly parted. Slowly, open your mouth as wide as you can without feeling pain, moving your gaze upwards. Hold this pose for a few seconds and then slowly close your mouth.
With your fingers, gently massage the muscles at your jaw hinge in a downward circle. Don’t push so hard that you feel any pain.
This exercise helps strengthen the TMJ joint using resistance. Put one thumb under your chin and gently push against it. Slowly open your mouth, holding it open for a few seconds. Slowly close it again.
Another strengthening TMJ exercise, begin by putting your thumb under your chin again. This time, you’ll also put that same hand’s index finger between your chin and lower lip. Start with an open mouth, and as you close your jaw, push gently with your fingers.
Stress can make TMJ pain worse and pain increases your stress. To help end this vicious cycle, work on relaxing more. When you feel your jaw muscles tense, take a few minutes. Inhale and exhale slowly with your eyes closed. Focus on releasing any tension held in your face and jaw.
If you’re dealing with symptoms of TMJ or you’ve been diagnosed, Dr. Allen and the team can help. Even if your symptoms aren’t that bad now, TMJ gets worse over time without treatment. We want to be sure that doesn’t happen, so please contact us at our Fort Collins office!