Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) connect the mandible joint on the lower part of the jaw to the temporal bone of the skull, and you use them constantly when you perform actions such as eating and talking. TMJ pain occurs because of injury, overuse, or progressive conditions such as arthritis, and those who suffer from this disorder often experience a diminished quality of life. Symptoms include pain while eating or chewing, headaches, locking of the jaw, popping noises when the mouth is opened or closed, and pain in the face, neck, jaw, and ear areas. TMJ has many potential causes that range from something as simple as chewing too much gum to the advent of certain autoimmune disorders. Even stress can play a part because some people tend to clench their jaws more when they are anxious and may even exacerbate the problem by grinding their teeth in their sleep. Poor posture is another common cause of TMJ.
Relaxing the Jaw
Sitting Knee Squeezes
Moving the Jaw From Side to Side
Resisted Mouth Closing
This exercise helps strengthen the jaw muscles used to chew food. Using the index finger and thumb of the same hand, the patient squeezes the chin and applies pressure while slowly closing the mouth.
Treatment strategies vary according to the unique needs and preferences of individual patients. Those suffering from TMJ disorder should seek the advice of their Seattle dentist to determine its cause and craft a customized treatment program designed to minimize and perhaps eliminate the pain and discomfort associated with the condition