TMJ Pain in Chandler AZ
You may not think too much about that temporomandibular joints (TMJ) that connect your jaw to your skull. However, they play an important role in actions you do every day – namely talking, chewing, and swallowing. So, if these joints are affected by overuse, arthritis, or injury, you may experience noticeable pain while chewing, a locking of your jaw, or pain in your jaw, face, ear, or neck. According to a study referenced in the Journal of Dental Research, exercises, like the ones discussed below, may effectively strengthen these joints and reduce disruptive symptoms.
1. Jaw Relaxation Exercises
Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth just behind your front teeth. Next, gently move your teeth together and apart while also relaxing your jaw muscles.
2. Partial Mouth Opening
Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Put one finger by your ear where your temporomandibular joint is located. You should be able to feel where your jaw bone ends and connects to your skull. Lower your jaw halfway as your mouth opens, and then close your mouth to return to a normal position. Do the same thing with the joint on the other side.
3. Full Mouth Opening
This exercise is performed similar to the partial mouth opening one. The difference is that you’ll place one finger on your chin and the other on your TMJ in Chandler AZ. You’ll then drop your jaw completely before going back to a normal position.
4. Chin Tucks
With this TMJ exercise; you’ll relax your shoulders back and keep your chest up. Next, pull your chin back so that you are purposely creating a “double chin.” Hold for 3-5 seconds and repeat about 10 times or whatever is comfortable for you.
5. Resisted Mouth Opening/Closing
For this exercise, you’ll place your thumb order your chin. First, slowly open your mouth and create some resistance with your thumb as you do so. Next, close your mouth and use your thumb and index finger to create resistance by gently pulling downward. It’s okay if your mouth opens slightly when you do this. The purpose of these exercises is to strengthen the muscles that help you chew properly.
While many people think dentists in Chandler, AZ, primarily treat problems with teeth and gums, they can also take steps to ease pain related to the temporomandibular joints. If your TMJ discomfort is related to tooth and jaw alignment, for instance, correcting these issues could provide relief from joint pain, and a custom dental appliance may be recommended if a TMJ disorder stems from teeth grinding. In some cases, treating underlying dental issues improves overall oral and dental health while also relieving TMJ pain.