A diagnosis of TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder) can leave patients unsure as to how to address this painful and problematic condition. At Drs of Smiles Gentle Family Dentistry in Mesa, Arizona, our dentists can help patients understand their condition and learn about exercises they can perform to reduce discomfort.
TMJ exercises for patients
One way in which patients can address discomfort of the temporomandibular joint is to perform daily exercises to stretch the muscles and maintain range of motion in the jaw. Below are just a few common exercises recommended by our team at Drs of Smiles Gentle Family Dentistry:
- Goldfish exercises – the goldfish exercise may be partial or full opening, and both are often recommended. By placing one finger on the side of the face where the TMJ is and the other on the chin, drop the lower jaw and then close. Patients may experience mild resistance but no pain. Opening can be done halfway or all the way in a series.
- Chin tucks – another option is to stand with the shoulders back and the chest up. Then, pull the chin back towards the neck and hold for three seconds. Repeat.
- Resistance exercises – with the thumb under the chin, open the mouth slowly while pushing against the chin for resistance. Patients can use this method to resist opening or closing.
- Side-to-side jaw movements – by placing a object such as a tongue depressor between the front teeth, move the jaw left and right to help improve range of motion of the jaw. This same technique can be used to push the jaw forward as well.
How else can I relieve discomfort from TMJ?
In some instances, patients may consider:
- Pain medication
- Oral appliance therapy
Do you need help with your TMD condition?
Drs. LeSueur, LeSueur, and Dodaro of Drs of Smiles Gentle Family Dentistry encourage patients of the Mesa, AZ area to discuss their needs with a professional and get started reducing the discomfort that comes along with conditions such as temporomandibular joint disorder. Call (480) 834-6991 to request a consultation visit at our practice, conveniently located in Suite 1 at 1056 South Val Vista Drive.