Temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ disorders) are an umbrella term covering acute or chronic pain, especially in the chewing muscles and inflammation of the jaw joints which connect our jaw to the skull.
The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain, which is the most common TMJ disorder symptom.
Because the disorder transcends the the boundaries between several healthcare disciplines - in particular dentistry and neurology - there is a variety of treatment approaches and each case has to be diagnosed independently.
Bruxism (teeth grinding and/or clenching) has been shown to be a contributory factor in the majority of cases. Loss of teeth can also cause unstable jaw relationships which can exacerbate the problem.
The TMJ sufferer should start with stretching the jaw to alleviate any tension they may encounter in their jaw. If they are feeling discomfort or pain, this first step will ease it rather rapidly. If it is found that TMJ exercises are not helping or the hurt and distress increases, a dentist appointment may be necessary. In these instances, exercises may not be enough.
Stretching the Jaw Muscle
Begin by scarcely opening the mouth. Afterward, place the right palm on the right jaw, followed by moving the lower jaw to the right. The individual must develop a bit of resistance and keep their hand in place for a few seconds. Repeat the exercise on the left side, and repeat five times on both sides.
Resistance Jaw Exercise
The mouth should be relaxed as much as possible. The lower jaw must be pushed forward as far and as straight, that can be managed, while putting the palm of their hand onto the chin. This will create a certain amount of resistance that can be felt. This position should be held for at least five seconds and repeated five times.
Neck Extension 1
Turn the neck to the right, placing two fingers from the left hand and rest them on the left lower jaw and press. The neck muscles should be gently stretching while keeping the position for five seconds. After that, repeat the procedure on the right side alternating five times on each side.
Neck Extension 2
Stand up and tilt the head back, looking up at the ceiling. If there is a minor stretch in the throat, then the movement is being done correctly. Embrace the position for five seconds. Afterwards, drop the head and look down at the floor until the identical minor stretch is felt in the back of the neck. Keep this position for five seconds and alternate five times once each side.
Neck Extension 3
Try to adjoin the right ear onto the right shoulder. This may be difficult; however, it is no reason not to give it a good try since this will give the neck a fantastic stretch. Put two fingers onto the left temple region and apply slight pressure, until an improved stretch is felt in the neck. Keep the position for five seconds, and try it on the other side, repeating two times on both sides.
Mouth Muscle Massage
With this exercise, position three fingers on the temples. Making a clockwise round motion, lightly massage the temples for around ten seconds. Be cautious not to apply too much pressure, since it can result in pain. This part of the body is very sensitive, and should be handled with care. Repeat this exercise two to three times. The massage can also be attempted on the jaw by putting the hands right in front of and underneath the ears.
The above exercises are usually enough to completely solve any TMJ problems. How long it takes for the exercises to work depends on the individual. Everyone’s pain and discomfort varies. However, success rates have been so positive that people have stated that the TMJ exercises have been effectual and that their jaw was better right after doing them. Of course, there are other slight variations of TMJ exercises. Each person must find the TMJ exercises that suit them best, but those who are committed to doing them may be completely and happily cured. Daily dedication is the key and an essential part to long term relief.