Tinnitus, a condition in which individuals hear ringing, buzzing or whooshing sounds in their ears, has many possible causes and exacerbating factors. Roughly have of all tinnitus sufferers also have temporomandibular joint disease, or TMJ, a disorder of the jaw joints and connective tissues. Physical therapy can help with tinnitus, according to the American Tinnitus Association's Dr. Michael J. A. Robb. Jaw exercises may relieve tinnitus symptoms.
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Open your mouth as wide as possible, then with your hand on your chin, pull your mouth open even wider. Hold the position for 30 seconds. As with all jaw exercises, don't do this if you're feeling pain--expect to feel pressure during exercises but stop if you feel pain or real discomfort. Repeat this four times in four daily sessions.
Assisted opening works much like the max opening exercise. Open your mouth, then hook two fingers over your lower front teeth. Pull your mouth open even wider and hold for a few seconds. Repeat 10 times.
With your mouth relaxed and slightly open, slide your jaw to the right as far as you can. Place your left fist against your jaw and apply pressure to keep your jaw to the right for 30 seconds. Reverse direction with your jaw slid to the left, pushing with your right fist. Repeat four times in four daily sessions.
Facing a mirror, bite your teeth together, paying attention to the position of the two middle teeth on your lower jaw. Slowly open your mouth while attempting to keep the two teeth centered without moving your jaw to the left or right. Repeat 10 times daily.
Feel-Good Teeth Tap
The Tinnitus-Free site recommends this exercise any time you feel tense or stressed: With your teeth barely touching, tap them gently together several times while smiling.
REFERENCES & RESOURCES
- MayoClinic.com: Tinnitus Definition
- American Tinnitus Association: Living With Tinnitus: 10 Good Faith Suggestions
- TMJ Help Center: TMJ Exercises
- Baltimore Center for Laser Dentistry: Jaw Exercises
- Tinnitus-Free.com: TMD (TMJ Jaw Joint Disorder)
- American Tinnitus Association: Patients, Families, Friends Tinnitus Information For You