5 Best TMJ Exercises for Pain Relief

April 10, 2024

Do you ever have pain or strange sensations in your jaw joint? Does it make sounds or feel tight when you open your mouth? If so, you might have something called temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. But don’t stress! This guide will tell you all about TMJ and teach you five exercises for TMJ pain relief.

Understanding TMJ?

The TMJ is a joint that connects your jaw to your skull, like a hinge. It lets you chew, talk, and yawn. But if it gets swollen or hurt, it can cause TMJ disorders.  These problems might include:

  • Pain or tenderness in the jaw
  • Difficulty or discomfort while chewing
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint
  • Locking of the jaw joint
  • Aching pain around the ears
  • Headaches or migraines

If you experience any of the above-mentioned symptoms, it is important to consult a healthcare professional to determine if you need TMJ treatment near you.

Causes of TMJ Disorders

TMJ disorders can be caused by different factors, such as:

  • Teeth grinding or clenching: When you grind or clench your teeth a lot, it can strain the TMJ.
  • Arthritis: Conditions like osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis can hurt the TMJ.
  • Injuries: Getting hit in the jaw or face, like in a sports accident or car crash, can cause TMJ problems.
  • Bad posture: Sitting or standing in a slouched position or leaning your head forward too much can strain the jaw muscles.
  • Stress: Feeling emotional or psychological stress can make some people clench their jaw without meaning to, which can lead to TMJ issues.

Five Effective TMJ Exercises for Pain Relief

#1 Jaw Stretching Exercise

  • Start by sitting or standing up straight.
  • Open your mouth slowly, as wide as feels okay.
  • Stay like this for 5-10 seconds.
  • Then close your mouth slowly.
  • Do this exercise 5-10 times, and you can do it more as your jaw muscles loosen up.

#2 Resisted Jaw Opening Exercise

  • Place your thumb under your chin and push softly.
  • Slowly try to open your mouth while feeling the resistance from your thumb.
  • Keep your mouth open for 5-10 seconds.
  • Then close your mouth slowly.
  • Do this exercise 5-10 times.

#3 Tongue Up Exercise

  • First, sit or stand with your shoulders relaxed.
  • Place the tip of your tongue on the upper part of your mouth, precisely behind your front teeth.
  • Keep your tongue there as you open and close your mouth slowly.
  • Do this movement 10-15 times.

#4 Chin Tucks

  • Sit or stand up straight.
  • Slowly lower your chin towards your chest
  • Stay like this for 5-10 seconds, feeling a stretch in the back of your neck.
  • Relax and go back to how you were.
  • Do this exercise 5-10 times.

#5 Relaxed Jaw Exercise

  • Put the front part of your tongue on the roof of your mouth, right behind your top front teeth.
  • Allow your teeth to move apart while keeping your lips closed together.
  • Breathe in slowly through your nose, then breathe out slowly through your mouth, making a soft “hissing” sound.
  • Do this breathing exercise 5-10 times, thinking about relaxing your jaw muscles each time you breathe out.

Doing TMJ exercises regularly is important for good results. Try to do these exercises every day. But if you feel more pain or discomfort while doing them, stop and talk to a healthcare professional to get TMJ treatment.  

Visit Us and Say Goodbye to TMJ Pain!

At TS Oral Health, we’re experts in diagnosing and treating TMJ disorders. Book an appointment with our oral surgeon in Calgary today to discuss treatment options just for you. Don’t let TMJ pain stop you from living fully. Start your journey to a healthier, pain-free smile by considering TMJ treatment at our local dental practice.