A slipped disc in your jaw can cause painful temporomandibular joint (TMJ)-related problems, including a “popping” noise that originates inside the jaw joint. Surgery is often used to treat TMJ. Disc repositioning is a surgery sometimes recommended for a slipped disk, according to the University of Cincinnati Academic Health Center. It is sometimes even necessary for the disc to be removed completely through a procedure called discectomy. Exercises for the jaw muscles may also help you get relief from TMJ problems, which may include inflammation and nerve pain or pain in the ligaments or the joint.
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Towel Friction Exercise
Friction is a massage exercise. Friction increase circulation to the face, which increases the rate at which lactic acid gets removed from the area, according to Merck.com. To perform friction to your jaw muscles, grab a rough towel and place it against your jaw, holding it in place with your fingertips. Vigorously rub the towel over your left cheek for a few minutes. Then, work your way up along the cheekbone until you reach your left temple. Rub your temple for a few minutes and then bring the towel onto your right cheek and repeat. Work up to your right temple.
Jaw Stretching Exercise
The jaw stretching exercise may relieve tension in tight jaw muscles forced out of position. The exercise finishes with icing the jaw, which may feel good if you have any inflammation. SimpleStepsDental.com recommends using moist heat on your face and temple before doing this exercise to relax muscles that may be tense. After applying heat for a few minutes, place your left thumb underneath your top front teeth. Place the index and middle fingers of your right hand on the top of your bottom front teeth. Next, slowly open your mouth with your hands. Keep your jaw muscles relaxed.
Soft Palate Exercise
The soft palate exercise is a simple exercise for TMJ relief. Begin by touching the tip of your tongue to the roof of your mouth with your mouth closed. Slide your tongue backwards until you reach the soft palate. Then, slowly open your mouth. Stop opening your mouth if you hear pops indicating the disk is slipping out of place. You should also stop if you feel pain, hear clicks or if your tongue can no longer touch the top of your mouth, as recommended by Chiropractic-Help.com.
- National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research: TMJ Disorders
- Merck: Temporomandibular Disorders
- Chiropractic-Help.com: TMJ Exercises
- SimpleStepsDental.com: Treatment of Temporomandibular Disorders
- University of Cincinnati, Academic Health Center: UC Health Line: Surgery Can Offer Help to TMJ Sufferers