If you experience regular jaw pain or headaches, you may have TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disease. Many people experience jaw, head, or neck pain when they have TMJ. Sometimes, you can relieve the pain on your own with jaw exercises. Other times, the pain simply goes away. However, the pain gets so bad in some cases that patients need to see their dentists about treatment options.
With the current state of the nation, considering coronavirus, we want to help you alleviate your pain without leaving your house. Whether you have toothaches from cavities or jaw pain from TMJ, your dentists at Smile On Dental Studio in St. Louis want you to feel better in no time! So, if you’re experiencing jaw pain, try out these four TMJ-relieving exercises. If your pain doesn’t go away, schedule an emergency appointment with Dr. Hill to discuss further options.
1. Push Your Jaw
First, try pushing your jaw to one side then the other. To do this, open your mouth as wide as possible. Then, use your right hand to push on the right side of your jaw so it slowly moves to the left. Once you push your jaw as far as it can go, hold the position for about 10 seconds. Then, repeat this exercise on the left side.
2. Use Props
Next, we want you to use props to benefit the hinging mechanisms of your joint. With this exercise, you will place a pencil or some other thin, long object between your teeth and clamp down. Then, slowly move your jaw side to side. Once this motion becomes comfortable, upgrade to a larger object such as a marker.
3. Check Yourself Out!
While looking at your smile in the mirror, slowly open your mouth while attempting to keep your bottom teeth and top teeth aligned. To do this, notice the line between your front two teeth and how it compares to the line between your bottom two teeth. Repeat this exercise five times until you get comfortable with it. Eventually, start increasing the exercise up to 10 times.
4. Give Yourself a Little Massage
Begin at the top of your jaw. Slowly, start tracing your jaw in a downward motion. Along the way, massage your jaw muscles. Feel free to repeat this exercise as much as you want–it’ll help relax both your jaw and your mind!
See Your Dentist if Pain Persists
We want you to be able to alleviate pain at home so you can practice social distancing during the coronavirus. However, if your TMJ pain doesn’t subside, visit your dentist to get proper treatment. If you need to see a TMJ specialist in St. Louis visit Dr. Hill at Smile On Dental Studio.