5 Exercises That Can Get Your TMJ Under Control

Click here to get the eBook, 'Stop Teeth Grinding: The Sleep Apnea Patients' Guide'

Click here to get the eBook, ‘Stop Teeth Grinding: The Sleep Apnea Patients’ Guide’

After Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) is recognized in those suffering from sleep apnea the most common concern that many have is treating the condition. While stress relief can help alleviate some of the symptoms, it does not deal with the wear and tear that the muscles undergo.

One of the best ways to restore muscle and tissue function lost due to TMJ is by exercising the mouth and jaws. Here are some quick and easy exercises that can help realign the jaw, strengthen muscles and ease pain.

1. Jaw Stretching

This exercise is focused on stretching the muscles which open the jaw and relaxing those that close it. This is good for those who experience difficulty opening or closing their mouth, but is not advisable for anyone who has experienced clicking, acute jaw strains or popping in the jaw.

Start by gently putting one knuckle in between the upper and lower teeth to gradually increase the jaw opening. Hold the knuckle in position for 60 seconds allowing the jaw to rest and relax. As the comfort settles in, increase the jaw opening by adding one more knuckle. Repeat the process until three knuckles are used.

Dot his exercise for 1-2 minutes twice daily. Some soreness may be experienced the following day, but may be treated with a warm or cold compress.

2. Jaw Massage

Massaging the jaws is a good way to help increase the range of motion that the muscles and bones in the area have. This quick exercise can be done at any time of the day but is best practiced before going to bed each night.

To do the massage, simply touch the knuckle of the index finger to the hinge of the jaw at the side of the face. Apply some pressure and gently run the knuckle up and down the bone, making sure to stop for about five seconds at areas with tight spots. Extra pressure may be applied to these places.

3. Controlled TMJ Rotation

One way to help ease pain brought about by TMJ is by applying proper jaw movement. This exercise will help train the jaws to move in the right direction to help alleviate discomfort.

Begin by positioning the tongue at a resting position with 1/3 or the front portion touching the roof, but not the teeth. Put index fingers over the TMJ on each side of the face. Slowly open the mouth making sure to keep the tongue in place. Stop the exercise if movement of the ball can be felt against the index fingers.

4. Neck Stretch

The head and neck are also affected by TMJ. This exercise can help stretch the muscles in the neck as well as strengthen it.

Begin by standing straight and holding the right hand over the head until the right pointer finger rest in the opening of the left ear.  Keep the eyes focused forward and gently pull the head to the right making sure that the jaws do not point downwards. Relax the jaw and gently pull the left hand downwards. This will give a stretch from the neck to the shoulder.  While at this position take 5-6 deep breaths from the belly. Repeat the exercise on the other side.

5. Tongue Roll

The tongue is the main muscle that connects to almost all other muscles of the mouth and neck. It plays a major role in keeping the mouth and neck functioning properly. Regular exercise will keep the tongue and muscles in place in good condition, preventing TMJ.

Begin by sitting in an upright position and relaxing the tongue, jaws and throat. Put the tongue in a resting position in front of the teeth. Very slowly roll the tongues from one side of the mouth to the other, touching the teeth along the way. Be sure that there is no pressure on the tongue as this is being done. Roll in tongue in one direction for one minute before changing to the other.

Wrapping Up

Interested in learning about how you can alleviate teeth grinding and sleep apnea? Please click here get your copy of, ‘Stop Teeth Grinding: The Sleep Apnea Patients Guide’.

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