According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Disorders, over 10 million people in America suffer from TMJ disorders. TMJ is an acronym for Temporomandibular Disorder. It is a common condition that can cause pain in your jaw, face, and head.
The National Institute of Health recommends treating TMJ pain with noninvasive, reversible techniques. Conservative methods do not require surgery or drugs and have fewer risks and side effects than TMJ surgery.
That means TMJ exercises are one of the best things you can do for TMJ pain relief. So, what kinds of TMJ exercises are there? Keep reading to learn more about how to cure TMJ using six easy exercises.
Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Slowly open and close your mouth, keeping your tongue in place.
Chin tucks are an easy way to stretch and strengthen the muscles in your jaw. To do a chin tuck, tuck your chin towards your chest (think “double chin”), hold for five seconds, and then release.
To do the Goldfish Exercise:
- Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
- Put one finger on your TMJ area, where your jaw hinges.
- Put another finger on your chin.
Slowly open and close your mouth (like a goldfish) while pressing gently with your fingers on your hand and jaw hinge. Then repeat the exercise on the other side.
Oxford University’s Method
Oxford University instructs patients to do the following as one of their TMJ physical therapy exercises: Close your mouth, letting your teeth touch, and put your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Slide your tongue back along the top of your mouth, towards your throat. Go as far as you can while still keeping your teeth touching.
Keep your tongue on the soft palate as long as you can while slowly opening your mouth. Go as far as you can until the tongue pulls away towards the front upper palate. Hold for 5 seconds. Close your mouth and repeat.
Sit up straight and relax your jaw. Place your thumb below your chin. Press the bottom of your chin as you open your mouth. Repeat the exercise five times.
Side-to-Side Jaw Exercise
Use an object like a popsicle stick for this exercise. Place the stick between your teeth and hold it there. Shift your jaw from side to side, but don’t lose your bite on the stick. You can do this going back and forth, too.
Get TMJ Pain Relief in Lafayette, LA
Lige Dunaway, D.D.S., can help if you are struggling with TMJ pain. We have TMJ specialists on staff who can create a treatment plan tailored to your specific needs. We offer treatments for TMJ, including nightguards, bite splints, and orthodontics.