If you suffer from TMD pain, your dentist is ready to e you. Therapies like custom oral appliances and other professional treatments can do much to promote proper jaw alignment and reduce your discomfort. But did you know there are some exercises you can do at home that can supplement your treatment and contribute to pain relief? Below, you’ll find nine simple exercises that might benefit you.
1. Relaxed Jaw Exercise
Rest your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your front teeth. Then pull your teeth apart while consciously relaxing your jaw muscles.
2. Goldfish Exercise – Partial
Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth and place one finger in front of your ear (where your jaw joint is located). Then, place a finger on your chin. Open your mouth halfway, then close. You should notice some resistance but no real pain. Six repetitions count as one set. Try to do six sets throughout each day.
3. Goldfish Exercise – Full
This exercise is just like the one described in the previous section. However, instead of opening your mouth halfway, open it all the way.
4. Chin Tuck
With your shoulders back and your chest up, pull your head backward to create a double chin. Hold the position for three seconds, relax, and repeat up to 10 times in a single set.
5. Resisted Mouth Opening
Place your thumb under your chin and use it to provide mild resistance while you slowly open your mouth. Hold your mouth open for a few seconds, then slowly close it.
6. Resisted Mouth Closing
Open your mouth, and use your thumb and index finger to gently squeeze your chin. Use your fingers to provide resistance as you close your mouth.
7. Tongue Up
Keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth as you slowly move your lower jaw up and down.
8. Side to Side
Find an object that is about 0.25 inches thick. Stacked tongue depressors work well. Put the object between your teeth, then slowly move your jaw from side to side. As your jaw becomes stronger, you will be able to use a larger object between your teeth.
9. Forward Jaw Movement
You can also use stacked tongue depressors for this exercise. Place them between your teeth and move your jaw forward so your lower teeth are in front of your upper teeth. As the exercise becomes easier, you can add tongue depressors to increase the distance between your teeth.
If you are consistent with your exercises, you may notice good results in 2 – 3 weeks. They take just a few minutes each day, and they can be a great addition to your plan to achieve a healthy, strong, and pain-free jaw!
Meet the Dentist
Dr. Keith Hollinger is a dentist with decades of experience. He has completed extensive training in TMD treatment. If you have questions about TMD, how best to treat it, or how to perform jaw exercises, he would be happy to talk with you. Contact our office at 860-430-5687.