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Talking to Your Oral Surgeon about Dental Exercises to Reduce TMJ Pain

Posted on 11/30/2016 by Tessa Smith-Greisch
An elderly woman suffering from severe TMJ.
The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. Temporomandibular joint disorder, also known as TMD, occurs when there is an issue with the temporomandibular joint or surrounding muscles or tissues.

It can be difficult to diagnose TMD because many of the symptoms present with TMD are also present with other oral concerns. Your dentist can help you to determine if you are suffering from TMD by assessing your medical history and the presence of certain symptoms.

If you suffer from chronic headaches, face or jaw pain, notice a clicking or popping sound when you speak or chew, swelling of the face, your jaw frequently gets "stuck", or you have tenderness of the jaw and/or face you should talk to your dentist about the possibility of you having TMD.

Exercises to Reduce TMJ Pain

If you have been diagnosed with TMD and are suffering from chronic TMJ pain, you should know that there are exercises that can be done to reduce discomfort. Talk with your doctor or dentist about doing the following exercises to help you manage your TMJ pain:

•  Stretching exercises - Stretching exercises help to relieve TMJ pain as well as to prevent the onset of pain. Two exercises you can try are to press your tongue firmly to the roof of your mouth and proceed to open your mouth as wide as you can. You can also stretch the jaw by opening and moving it in different directions or until your feel discomfort.
•  Strengthening exercises - It is important to do strengthening exercises when you are not experiencing TMJ pain, but rather once it has subsided. You should actively do strengthening exercises to help empower the jaw and prevent the pain from returning. Try opening your mouth as wide as you can with some amount of resistance on the chin.
•  Relaxation exercises - Relaxation exercises can work to relieve TMJ pain. Breathing exercises tend to be the most effective at reducing stress and anxiety and promoting relaxation.

If you are struggling with TMJ pain, please contact us today to see if the above exercises are right for you.

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