Almost everyone suffers from tight jaw muscles. Whether it’s because of your sleeping habits, an underlying condition, or just an uncomfortable mouth position, it can cause a great deal of discomfort. You might experience your jaw locking up or freezing when it’s half open or closed.
The feeling is not ideal, especially when it starts interfering with your daily activities. But don’t worry, we’ve got you! In this blog, we’ve discussed seven of the most helpful exercises on how to relax your jaw.
How To Relax Your Jaw
If you find yourself unconsciously clenching your jaw, leading to severe jaw pain, try the following exercises to help relieve the pain.
- The Double Chin
Also known as ‘Chin Tucks,’ this exercise requires you to tuck your chin towards your chest, almost like creating a double chin. The best way to try this is by pressing your back against a wall and standing straight. Hold the double chin position for up to 5 seconds and continue repeating until the muscles lose their tension.
- The Loose Goose
This is the ultimate relaxing exercise. To try the loose goose, all you have to do is touch the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth. More specifically, the area behind your upper front teeth. When you do this, your mouth will automatically pop open, going into a relaxed state. Repeat this movement as many times as needed.
- The Forced Smile
Similar to the smiles you have to present at social events, the forced smile helps stretch your jaw and neck muscles. Start by smiling as wide as you possibly can, but make sure it doesn’t hurt or feel tight. Then, while you’re smiling, open your mouth 2 inches wide and take a deep breath. Next, slowly exhale through your mouth, dropping the smile altogether. Continue this exercise for a total of 10 rounds.
- The Open & Close Method
This is a basic warmup exercise that requires you to open and close your mouth. If you want to take it up a notch, you can try the rubber band jaw. That’s when you place your fingers over the top of the front bottom teeth and slowly press down. Keep pushing until there’s an uncomfortable tightness in your jaw. Hold this pressing position for 30 seconds before letting the jaw spring back up. Repeat the same movements up to 12 times.
- The Goldfish Mouth
Just like a goldfish, this exercise makes your mouth pop open. To follow through, place your thumb under the chin and the pointer finger on the temporomandibular joint. This is the edge of your jaw, which can be located under your ear. Once your fingers are in position, gently apply pressure on both areas and partially open your mouth before closing it. Continue doing this 5 to 10 times.
- Thumb Resistance
To follow through with this exercise, place your thumb under the chin and create resistance while slowly opening your mouth. Keep opening and closing your mouth but maintain pressure on both sides. Apply pressure with your thumb to close your jaw and use your jaw to defy that by pushing through to open it.
- The Occipital Lifts
This exercise is wonderful for relaxing your jaw and, at the same time, relieving a tension headache. To try it, cover your ears with the palms of your hands, making sure your fingers are facing upwards. Next, place your thumb on the small bones behind the ears, known as suboccipital muscles. You then need to tilt your head on either side in intervals to help ease the pain.
Experiencing Chronic Jaw Pain?
Everyone has dealt with tight jaw muscles, but if you’re constantly plagued by jaw pain, it could be due to a serious condition. In such a case, it’s best to consult a TMJ specialist.
Initially, you can try some mouth exercises to relax your jaw. However, if that doesn’t work, reach out to Vintage Smile Family Dentistry at (281) 251-7770 and schedule an appointment. You can also visit our dental clinic at 10300 Louetta Rd Ste 132, Houston, TX 77070, next to Chicken Salad Chick.