3 Things You Should Know About TMJ Pain and Jaw Exercises To Stop Teeth Grinding

3 Things You Should Know About TMJ Pain and Jaw Exercises To Stop Teeth Grinding | Remi

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinge-like structure that connects the lower jaw to the skull. While TMJ disorders are not life-threatening, they can cause significant discomfort and tension and eventually lead to chronic pain.

Sometimes, even experienced dentists find it difficult to explain the exact cause of TMJ pain. However, one of the most common culprits is bruxism, or grinding and clenching teeth.

This article will discuss what you need to know about TMJ, including practical solutions to keep it at bay.

1. TMJ Is Common

TMJ IS Common | Remi

First, if you suffer from a TMJ disorder, know that you are not alone. Recent statistics show that around 10 million Americans have the same condition. Below are some signs to watch out for:

  • Jaw tenderness
  • Ear and jaw pain
  • Difficulty chewing
  • Facial pains
  • Locking of the temporomandibular joint

If you don’t experience pain or movement limitations associated with a clicking jaw, you might not have TMJ. People diagnosed with the disease often complain of a grating sensation when they open their mouths or chew.

2. Jaw Exercises Can Help Reduce TMJ Pain and Improve Jaw Function

Try jaw exercises to address symptoms first. A few minutes a day can do wonders for your condition.

Below are some of the most recommended jaw exercises for TMJ patients:

  • Relaxed jaw exercise:  First, rest your tongue behind your top front teeth. Let your teeth come apart as you open and close your mouth.
  • Chin tucks:  Put your shoulders back and your chest up. Afterward, pinch your chin as you would to make a double chin appear. Hold this pose for three seconds.
  • Resisted mouth opening:  Put a thumb under your chin. Then, open your mouth slowly while gently adding resistance with your finger. Hold this position for five seconds, and then close your mouth slowly.
  • Side-to-side jaw movement:  Bite into a ¼-inch object like a stack of tongue depressors, and slowly move your jaw from side to side. Once you get used to the movement, you can try doing it with a thicker object between your teeth.
  • Goldfish exercise:  First, press your tongue against the mouth roof. Next, place an index finger on your left TMJ and the other on your chin. Afterward, lower your chin while applying pressure from both fingers without dropping your tongue. Don’t forget to perform the same movements for the right TMJ.

Repeat your preferred exercise five times, five times daily.

3. Wearing a Night Guard Offers Pain Relief and Prevents Teeth Grinding

In some cases, people find their TMJ symptoms disappear without any treatment. Occlusal appliances are some of the best tools you can invest in for TMJ. After all, grinding and clenching teeth are common effects of the condition and can lead to discomfort as you sleep. With a mouth guard, your jaw muscles can relax, providing pain relief and maximum comfort.

You can combine your jaw exercises with a teeth-grinding night guard to help combat TMJ effectively. In addition, counseling can help you view your condition objectively and help you understand factors that may aggravate your pain. For instance, giving up biting your nails or leaning on your chin can help you win your battle against TMJ.

Create a Custom Night Guard

If you suffer from TMJ,  jaw exercises and a teeth-grinding night guard can help address your symptoms. At Remi, we offer custom night guards designed to perfectly fit your teeth, aligning your teeth and easing the pain. Call 1-800-234-1874 and let’s see how we can help you.

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