If you suffer from pain in your temporomandibular joint (TMJ), you may feel discomfort when
chewing, speaking, and yawning. For some people, the pain of living with a TMJ disorder can
happen even when the jaw is still.
While seeing your dentist will give you your best options to properly treat TMJ pain, there are
some gentle exercises you can do to try and ease your pain. Seeing a professional dentist
should be your first stop, so make an appointment before you begin exercising your jaw!
Gentle Push from Side-to- Side
Also called side-to- side resistance, this is a simple exercise that should be performed gently
involving both sides of your jaw.
Keep your jaw at rest, don’t attempt to move it from side to side, stay relaxed as much as
possible. Take the palm of your hand and gently press against your jaw on one side of your face
for about 5 seconds. Then do the other side.
It’s essential to make the pressure as gentle as possible while doing this exercise and keep your
Opening and Closing with Resistance
For this exercise, be sure to wash your hands as part of the exercise will involve touching the
inside of your mouth!
Using your thumb, reach in and gently pull down on your bottom row of teeth. Keep your jaw
relaxed while doing this, and don’t pull very hard. The key here is to be as gentle as possible.
Gently pull your jaw down.
For a different version of this exercise, use your thumb to gently push up on the bottom of your
chin, keeping your jaw relaxed yet closed.
Gentle Push Back
With the heel of your hand on your chin, gently push back towards your neck with this exercise.
Keep your jaw as relaxed as possible and do not push hard with your hand. Remember, your
temporomandibular joint is a small, complex joint. Harsh pressing or force isn’t needed to
achieve the desired results.
Treating Your TMJ Pain
Trying to self-diagnose and treat your TMJ pain rarely leads to effective solutions. Often, there
are simple problems at the root cause of your pain that can be addressed whether through
correcting your bite with orthodontia or simply reducing your stress.
Visiting your dentist can help you uncover what’s causing your TMJ pain and together you can
work to treat it. When you know what’s causing the problem, you can work to identify the
solution that works the best for you to relieve your pain.
When it comes to TMJ pain, there is relief for your discomfort. Finding a dentist who’s
experienced with TMJ disorders and conducting the proper exercises can help you to stay pain-
free. In the meantime, give these gentle TMJ exercises a try to help strengthen your jaw and
stop your pain!