Temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, is a jaw disorder that can affect the neck, back, ears and head if untreated. TMJ can also affect breathing, eating and sleeping and can be incredibly painful. TMJ is caused by orthodontic work or natural shifting of teeth. Symptoms of TMJ include jaw clicking, trouble opening and closing your mouth, jaw pain and jaw tightness.
Put your tongue on the roof of your mouth, open your mouth wide with your tongue in place, and breathe in slowly for two counts and out slowly for two counts. Release and repeat 10 times.
Next, make a fist and place it directly under your chin. Balance the weight of your fist and press as you gently try to open your jaw. The isometric energy should relax the jaw bone (mandible). Try not to allow your jaw to click while performing this exercise. Hold for 10 seconds. Release and repeat 10 times.
Press your fist against the left side of your jaw below the hinge and maintain a steady pressure. The isometric energy should relax the muscles in your jaw. Hold for 10 seconds Release 10 times and repeat on the opposite side of your jaw.
Press against your jaw with one finger on each side. Apply pressure evenly to both sides. Open the jaw very slowly and do not allow the jaw to click. If your jaw clicks, release and start again, opening more slowly. The pressure on each side should allow your jaw to open and close in correct alignment.
Once your jaw is relaxed and aligned, with a loose jaw and mouth, hold your chin between your thumb and pointer finger. Very carefully and loosely shake your chin back and forth, allowing your jaw to relax and release. Do not attempt if this exercise if it causes you pain. Continue until your jaw feels loose, aligned and relaxed. Repeat these exercises once a day or more often if necessary to align your jaw. With jaw alignment and practice, your jaw will eventually memorize the relaxed positions and do them automatically.
Do not attempt these exercises if they cause you pain. Call a doctor, dentist or chiropractor if symptoms persist.