TMJ Exercises for Jaw Pain


When was the last time you thought about your temporomandibular joints (TMJ)? Each time you chat, chew, or swallow, you activate these joints. You know, the joints connecting your jawbone to your skull?

Are you aware that ~12% of people in the U.S. experience TMJ at any given time? What causes TMJ disorders anyhow? Some causes may be arthritis, a physical injury, or dental surgery.

If you’re currently suffering from a TMJ disorder, we feel your jaw pain. Do not fret, as you’re in luck. Relax and read on to learn some TMJ exercises.

Relaxed Jaw

Behind your upper front teeth, gently rest your tongue on the top of your mouth. While relaxing your jaw muscles, allow for your teeth to separate.

Goldfish (Partial)

For the next set of TMJ exercises, place an index finger in front of the “TMJ ear”. Press your tongue on the roof of your mouth and have your other index finger on your chin.

There should be little resistance when you drop your lower jaw halfway and close. There shouldn’t be any pain.

Six times of this exercise equals a set. Do a set six times per day.

Goldfish (Full)

With your tongue on the roof of your mouth still, put one finger on your chin and another on your TMJ. Then, completely lower your jaw and up again.

Chin Tuck

For these TMJ exercises, keep your shoulders and chest up with your chin back. You want to create a “double chin” here. Hold it for three seconds and repeat 10 times in a row.

Resisted Mouth (Opening)

With this TMJ treatment, under your chin, place your thumb. Slowly open your mouth and push against your chin (gently for resistance). Hold this for three to six seconds. Now, close your mouth (slowly).

Resisted Mouth (Closing)

With your thumb and index finger (same hand) squeeze your chin. While closing your mouth, on your chin, you want to gently apply pressure. When practicing these TMJ exercises, your chewing muscles will strengthen.

Jaw (Side-to-Side)

Our TMJ treatment continues with these jaw exercises. Between your front teeth, place either a tongue depressor craft stick. In a side-to-side motion, slowly move your jaw.

As you practice these TMJ exercises, they’ll become easier. Once they do, increase the thickness of the object.

Jaw (Forward)

Again, place either a tongue depressor craft stick between your front teeth. You want the bottom row of your teeth in front of the top row, so move your bottom jaw forward. As this becomes easier, grab a thicker object.

Click here to learn a bit more about TMJ disorders.

Give Your Jaw a Break With These TMJ Exercises

If you’re amongst the many suffering from jaw pain, you may have a TMJ disorder. The provided TMJ exercises are there to offer you some relief. Try them the next time you’re in pain.

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