Jaw Exercises for Relaxation and Mobility
There are several simple exercises that help relax jaw muscles and increase the mobility of jaw joints.
These can be practiced when TMD symptoms are light or non-existent.
Do not do these when jaw pain is moderate to severe. During these times the jaw must rest as much as possible.
- Assisted Opening: Place two fingers on lower front teeth, slowly open as wide as is comfortable while pushing down with your fingers. Repeat ten times.
- Resisted Opening: Cup palm under chin, open jaw slowly, and gently resist opening with hand under chin. Repeat ten times.
- Midline Exercise: Look in mirror, bite teeth together, and look at position of two center teeth on lower jaw (central incisors). Open slowly while watching these two teeth and attempt to keep lower jaw "centered" as you open. Repeat ten times.
- Simple Opening/Stretch: Open jaw slowly ten times as wide as is comfortable.
- Lateral Movement Exercise: Open jaw about one inch from clenched bite. Move lower jaw as far to the right (straight to the right without opening more) as is comfortable. Repeat ten times and then do the same on the left side.
- Neck Stretch: Attempt to touch ear to shoulder by bending neck and not raising shoulder. Repeat ten times and then do ten more on the other side.