Self-Care for the TMJ

By Body Sense Staff

Maybe you clench your jaw while sleeping. Or maybe your jaw and facial muscles are where you store your stress from a busy day at the office. Either way, these exercises will help soften a tight temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and get your jaw in its proper resting position.


Chin Tucks for TMJ
Sitting tall and straight, with your head aligned over your shoulders, move your head forward, and then back without moving your chin up or down. This exercise works the muscles that affect your jaw pain. You can assist the end of the stretch by pushing against the chin.

TMJ Strengthener
Sitting tall and straight, start with your jaw in this resting position—tongue pressed to the back of your upper front teeth with your mouth closed. With the tongue still pushing against the back of your teeth, open your jaw wide, then close. Repeat 6 times. This helps strengthen the joint and put the jaw in proper position.

When stretching, doing yoga, or working out, if you find tension in your jaw, that’s a sign that something is off. Become aware of your body. Envision your lower jaw being heavy and your upper jaw being light. You can even put your tongue to the roof of your mouth  
to reset.