We have found that many of our patients here at Tooronga Family Dentistry suffer from jaw pain and clicking of their jaw joint. The cause for this type of pain and discomfort can be varied but “stress” is one of the more common causes. If you suffer from Tempro-Mandibular Joint (TMJ) pain or sensitivity, there are exercises that you can use to relieve the tension in the muscles.
- Jaw stretching – you can stretch jaw muscles by gently opening and closing your mouth repeatedly. This activity works in the same way that you would perform muscle stretches in the gym, only you are exercising the muscles around your jaw. It is important not to exaggerate and open your mouth too far. Use caution, not to force your mouth open. If you feel pain when you do this exercise, stop and give your jaw muscles a chance to stretch and get accustomed to this workout.
- Shoulders, neck and head exercises –The jaw muscles are connected to the neck, head, or shoulders. Exercising the muscles in these parts of your body will increase their flexibility and provide better support for your head and neck. Start with shoulder rolls, both forward and backward, as well as head tilt and rolls. Start doing these exercises for just a few minutes each day and then gradually build up as your strength and flexibility grows. Always pay attention to your body and if pain levels are increasing, stop and speak with Dr. Kaufman Daniel or your medical doctor before you proceed.
When TMJ exercises and stretches aren’t enough it is important to remember that the pain and the disabling immobility that is often associated jaw joint disease may require more treatment. You may need to combine your exercise program with other treatments such as the use of a hard occlusal splint to keep your jaw in the right position and protect your teeth, while you sleep. While it is certainly important for you to do whatever is necessary to get the relief that you need, TMJ exercises are one more option for you to use. If you feel a stiff jaw or pain when you open your mouth, please call Tooronga Family Dentistry, Phone number 98227006 for an examination.