If you are experiencing a clicking of your jaw when you eat, yawn, or even talk. It is called TMJ [temporomandibular joint dysfunction]. Clicking the jaw is not a permanent condition, and it will go away with just simple jaw exercises. Clicking the jaw is most annoying than painful. According to dentists, the clicking jaw happens because of the incorrect alignment of the upper and lower jaw moving.
Most of the time, the joints of your jaw get under pressure when you chew or yawn, any motion that makes you feel pain, So try to eat soft food during this problem. When you eat solid food, they will need more pressure to chew, and it will be more problematic for your jaw.
In this article, I have discussed the 10 most effective jaw exercises for the clicking jaw. These exercises will give you relief from this issue. Moreover, what are the most common causes of the clicking jaw? and some home remedies?
This video is about jaw exercises for clicking the jaw and it will be really helpful.
10 Jaw Exercises for Clicking Jaw to Reduce the Pain
First of all, try a gentle massage on the affected area, it will give strength to your mussels and you might feel better, it will give you relief from pain and tension, here are proven exercises for TMJ condition.
The purpose of the exercise is to get relief clicking of the jaw and to strengthen muscles. It will also overcome your tendency to move your jaw forwards or to one side, and will relieve any discomfort you may have.
1. Stretching Exercises for Clicking Jaw
In TMJ pain, stretching exercises can help you a lot it can reduce muscle and joint tension, and give you relief for a longer time.
- Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth and open your mouth widely, as you can do easily or comfortably, hold for just 5-10 seconds.
- Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth and then move your lower jaw out a little bit, as for as it will go and then back as for as it will go, do both for a few seconds.
- Open your mouth as widely as you can comfortably and slowly, place your tongue in a neutral position do it for 5-10 seconds, then close your mouth and open it again, gliding your lower jaw back and forth 5-10 times.
- Close your mouth, keep your head straight and glance to the right with your eyes only, don’t move your face. Move your lower jaw to the left and do the same on the other side for 5-10 seconds.
- Put a pencil between your front teeth and move your jaw forward do it for 20 seconds.
2. Relaxing Exercise for Clicking Jaw
Relaxing exercises will also give good results for the clicking jaw.
TMJ pain is often due to stress. Here, I am telling you two simple relaxation exercises.
- First exercise
Inhale slowly, do it with your lungs instead of expanding your chest, then Exhale. Do this exhalation, and inhalation as long as you can. Repeat this 5-10 times.
- Second exercise
- Sit somewhere in a comfortable position, and release the tension from every muscle of your body. Start this exercise from your feet and move upward to your head.
These relaxing exercises are very helpful and very easy to do.
- Deep breathing
- Getting a massage
- Taking a warm bath
- Go for jogging
- Listening to the soothing voice
3. Tongue-up Exercises for Clicking Jaw
Here is one more exercise for TMJ. Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth, and open or close your jaw many times.
4. Resisted Mouth-Opening Exercise
Put your thumb under your chin and press upward as you are trying to open your jaw, keep your muscles resisting for 6 to 10 seconds, then slowly close your jaw.
5. Resisted Mouth-Closing Exercise
Place both your index fingers between the chin and the bottom of your lower lip, grip your chin with both thumbs do this resisting exercise with an open mouth, and try to close your jaw against this resisting force. Do this for 60 seconds, and open your mouth slowly.
6. Goldfish Jaw Exercise for Clicking Jaw
Apply pressure on the side of the TMJ with your index finger. Place your other index finger in the middle of your chin and give some pressure. Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth, and close or open your mouth slowly 6 times.
Do this exercise six times daily, for variation applies this to both TMJ muscles with the help of the index finger.
7. Chin Tucks Exercise
Pull your chin towards the back of the throat, with your chest forward and shoulders back, hold for 30 seconds and repeat 10 times.
8. Lateral Jaw Movement for Clicking Jaw
Like a popsicle, place a thick object between your front teeth and move your jaw slowly left or right. Do it repeatedly when you feel, you can do it easily, and do the same exercise with the thicker object.
9. Forward Jaw Movement for Clicking Jaw
Place approximately ¼ inch object between your front teeth and move your jaw forward and backward until your bottom teeth extend past the top teeth. When you feel you can do this exercise easily then you can increase the thickness of the object by 1/4 inch.
” If you do these exercises with consistency and repeatedly then it will give a lot of strength to your muscles and your TMJ muscles will strengthen.”
10. One of the Best Exercises for Clicking Jaw
Sit up straight onto the chair, Close your mouth put your tongue behind the upper front of the teeth run the tip of your tongue backward, keeping the teeth in contact and forcing the tongue back, to maintain the contact then slowly open your mouth. Do not try to open very fast so keep your mouth in an open position for five seconds, close your mouth for five seconds, and do this all for five seconds but comfortably.
Clicking Jaw Can Change the Facial Shape
No, the facial shape will not change. The main cause of the clicking jaw is cartilage in the jaw joints getting out of place and rapidly moving to the right position.
When to See the Doctor for Clicking Jaw
You may reduce your pain by the above-mentioned exercises because this problem is temporary until you feel some serious issues like:
- The clicking is painful
- Your jaw is tender
- Your face is swollen
- You have difficulty opening your mouth
- Your jaw becomes locked in place
- You struggle to eat
- You have headaches, toothaches, neck aches, or earaches
Some Home Remedies for Clicking Jaw
So if your problem is not a serious one it’s temporary, we have plenty of home remedies for you in clicking jaw to make you feel better.
1. TMJ EXERCISE
As we have already mentioned above with the help of some TMJ exercises like goldfish exercise, jaw forward exercise, chin tucks, etc you can do these by yourself easily, and get instant relief with help of simple exercises.
2. ICE PACKS OR HEAT PACKS
With the help of some ice packs or heat packs, you can manage your clicking jaw because cold and hot temperatures can change the surroundings of the TMJ muscles.
3. SOME ANTI-INFLAMMATORY DRUGS
Ibuprofen, aspirin, and certain muscle relaxants can reduce the pain or clicking jaw, with these anti-inflammatory drugs you can relax TMJ muscles.
4. SOME SOFT FOOD
Don’t eat hard food with a clicking jaw because you need more pressure to chew that kind of food, they increase your problem, so try to eat soft food that you can chew easily like you can easily eat soft cooked rice and soft bread, you can use some soups or other soft food that you like to eat.
5. IMPROVE YOUR POSTURE
If you have a bad posture you should improve your posture including your head and shoulders by improving your posture you may feel better, if you have a very bad posture you may need to consult with a physiotherapist.
6. WEAR AT NIGHT A DENTAL GUARD
To fix your clicking jaw wear a dental guard at night, if you are a nightly teeth grinder you should do this must because this is the root cause of clicking jaw and pain.
7. SOME RELAXING EXERCISES
Stress is the main cause of the tension of muscles so if you do some relaxing exercises and apply some other relaxing techniques, you can easily overcome your problem. It will help to relax your TMJ muscles also.
8. Everyday Care For Tmj
You should do all the exercises daily to strengthen your TMJ muscles.
- Moist heat (like a warm compress)
- Medication (anti-inflammatories drugs, muscle relaxants)
- Oral appliance
The Most Common Causes of a Clicking Jaw
The most common causes of pain are the following:
- A dislocated joint
- Issues with tooth and jaw alignment
- Muscle tension
- Teeth grinding or clenching
So if you want to fix your TMJ muscles then you should note the above-mentioned causes and check why is this happening to you, so for better management of this problem you need to check the root causes. If you are trying to fix it but you are not working on the main reasons for clicking or pain in the jaw, it will not give you good results. Work on the root causes of your problem.
Some More treatments for Clicking Jaw
Treatment for clicking the jaw is massage, medication, physical therapy, and chiropractic adjustments. You can also find some ways to relax by meditation to reduce stress, and a mouth guard at night to prevent bruxism and teeth grinding.
Clicking your jaw can stop if you might subconsciously develop a habit to avoid moving your jaw in certain ways. You will notice it becomes your habit. By the time the jaw will change shape which was the main cause of clicking the jaw.
So by practicing these exercises or different home remedies or some relaxing techniques [like yoga, deep breathing exercise, mindfulness ]. You will be able to fix your problem at your home, no need to see a doctor because this is not a very serious problem. According to some people who have faced this issue, clicking jaw is annoying but it will go away after a long time.
I will say after doing these jaw exercises you will feel much better but if still, you are not feeling good you should visit the doctor until your problem is getting serious or feeling very bad then only the doctor can suggest the right solution. I strongly recommend do not take any medicine on you until the doctor prescribed you.