Seven Best TMJ Trigger Point Exercises for Pain Relief
You may not think about TMJ much, but you use them. TMJ connects your jawbone to your skull. Your Temporomandibular Joints (TMJ) get into action each time you chew, talk or swallow.
TMJ disorders occur when something wrong happens to your jaw muscles and joints. Often, this occurs when your jaw gets an injury or inflammation such as overuse or arthritis.
TMJ disorders might cause symptoms such as:
- Pain in your face, neck, ear, or jaw
- Feeling pain when you chew
- Clicking or popping sounds jaw when you close or opens your mouth
- Having headaches
- Locking of the jaw joint
If you suspect having symptoms, you should use to get TMJ treatment in Coquitlam.
Exercise for TMJ Pain Relief
Activities are done for joint pain relief help to:
- Reduce jaw clicking
- Stretch the jaw
- Strengthen jaw muscles
- Promote jaw healing
- Increase jaw mobility
- Relax the jaw
Performing TMJ exercises help increase mouth opening range more than using a mouthguard when you have TMJ disc displacement.
These exercises from Tri-Cities Dental Specialists help you relieve TMJ pain and improve your jaw joints movements. However, there are frequent recommendations for some activities, and if these recommendations are not available, you should ask your dentist for guidance.
Relaxed Jaw Exercise
You should rest your tongue gently on the top of the mouth and behind the upper front teeth. Then, allow your teeth to be apart while relaxing your jaw muscles.
Goldfish Exercises (Partial Opening)
Here, you should place your tongue on the roof of the mouth and put one of your fingers in front of your ear where the TMJ is located. Then put your middle finger on the chin. Then drop your lower jaw halfway, and then close it. You should experience mild resistance but not pain. A goldfish exercise partial opening variation is to place one finger on each TMJ. You do this as you drop your lower jaw halfway and close it again. Our dentist in Coquitlam recommends you do this exercise six times in one set. This means you should do one set six times daily.
Goldfish Exercises (Full Opening)
You do this by keeping your tongue on the roof of your mouth, placing your finger on your TMJ, and placing another on your chin. Then, drop your jaw entirely and back. For the variation of this exercise, place one of your fingers on each TMJ as you lower your lower jaw ultimately and back. You should do this exercise six times to complete one set, and you should complete one set six times daily.
Resisted Opening of the Mouth
You should place a thumb under your chin. Then slowly open your mouth and push against your chin gently for resistance. Hold for three to six seconds and close your mouth slowly.
Resisted Closing of the Mouth
In this exercise, you squeeze your chin with your index and thumb with one hand. Then, close your mouth, placing gentle pressure on your chin. This helps strengthen your muscles that help you chew.
Side-to-Side Jaw Movement
Put a quarter-inch object such as stacked tongue depressors between your front teeth. Move the jaw from side to side slowly. As this exercise becomes more manageable, you should increase the object’s thickness between the teeth by placing them one on top of each other.
Forward Jaw Movement
Put a quarter-inch object between your front teeth. Then move your jaw forward to make your bottom teeth front of your top teeth. As this exercise gets more manageable, you should increase the object’s thickness between your teeth.
Other Ways to Manage Your TMJ Pain
Other exercises you should do for pain relief are such as:
- Chin Tucks: With your shoulders back and chest up, pull your chin straight back, creating a double chin. You should hold this pose for three seconds and repeat it ten times.
- Tongue up: You should open and close your mouth slowly with your tongue touching the roof of your mouth.
Also, your healthcare provider might recommend:
- You get massage for TMJ pain
- Wear mouthguards that help realign your jaw
- Acupuncture offers some relaxation by relieving pressure in the affected area
- Try stress relief techniques that help prevent jaw tension
- Take over-the-counter pain relievers to help relieve TMJ pain
- Wear mouth guards to help prevent jaw clenching and teeth grinding