TMJ (Jaw) Exercises

These jaw (TMJ) stretches and mobility exercises aim to relax your jaw region if you’re experiencing tightness or pain in your jaw or an altered bite. These can be done on a daily basis. 

1. Self soft tissue work in the Jaw muscles (1-2 minutes).
2. Mouth opening and side movement – tongue on the roof of your mouth. (10 reps of each)
3. Resisted
side jaw pressure (10 seconds, 3 sets)
4. Resisted opening jaw pressure (10 seconds, 3 sets)
5. Temporalis muscle  (10 reps, 3 sets)
6. Masseter muscle (10 reps, 3 sets)
7. Internal mouth muscle release (5 repeats, 3 sets per side)

Hey guys it’s Dr Anthony here I’m going to show you some exercises for your TMJ (or your jaw muscles). First thing we’re going to do is you’re going to grab with the pads of your fingers and you’re just going to essentially just massage some of the muscles that connect into the jaw so you’re going to start with your temples, close to your temples and you’re just going to make some circular motions doesn’t matter which direction. You’re going in then you’re going to slowly work your way into the jaw muscles here look for any areas of like tension or knots and try and just like put some pressure and break those areas up. Work your way along the jawline, go behind the jaw area as well on both sides. Kind of push and find for some tight areas and again underneath the jaw looking for any areas of restriction and tightness. Once that’s done we’re going to warm up the jaw again by putting the tongue on the roof of your mouth and you’re going to just do 10 gentle opens so, tongue on the roof of the mouth and [open and close].

You’re going to do that about 10 times once that’s completed – same thing – tongue on the roof of the mouth and you’re just going to go side to side with the jaw so [side to side].

Once you do about 10 reps on each side the jaw is all warmed up and we can start working on some soft tissue, so first thing you’re going to do is we’re just going to activate the muscles a little more so we’re going to start by placing the right hand on the right jaw. The goal in this exercise is to not let the jaw move outwards that way so when we’re doing this motion. I want you to resist that motion but still try to do it. And you’re going to hold it for about 10 seconds on each side. So do the same thing on the left – don’t let the jaw move. That you’ll do 10 second holds and you’re going to do three sets of that. Next thing you’re going to do you’re going to put both palms underneath the jaw and you’re gonna resist your jaw opening. Let it open but apply some gentle pressure upwards so that it’s a little difficult to open [so just like that].

And you’re going to do that about 10 times and then you can do about 2-3 sets of that. After that’s done, again, you’re going to take the palms of your hands – you’re going to place them over your temples and you’re going to apply an upwards force and you’re going to open the jaw at the same time. So you should feel a little bit of a stretch in the muscle that’s right here in your temple.

That you’re going to do about 10 reps and again you’re going to do three sets of that. Next we’re going to work onto the masseter muscle which is just the main jaw muscle here. Again, you’re going to use the palm of your hands on both sides and you’re going to put an upwards force onto the jaw here, and you’re going to open the mouth at the same time.

Good. And then, if it’s still tight after that after you’ve done three sets of ten you can do the exact same thing, but instead of going upwards you’re going to actually assist the jaw opening and apply downwards force. So:

[just like that].

And that’s that for that exercise. Now if you’re still experiencing some kind of tightness in the jaw you can work on the internal muscles in the mouth. What I suggest is essentially taking your one finger – so say I’m going to work on the left side of my jaw- I’m going to use my my right hand, my index finger, I’m going to put it on the inside of my mouth and I’m going to trace the bottom molars until I feel a tight muscle on the inside of my left cheek. So, finger is going to go into the mouth just like this and you’re going to feel muscle.

And you’re gonna pull outwards like that to kind of release the muscle and you’re gonna do that for like about five seconds so finger goes in:

You’re gonna do that about three times for about five seconds and you can do it on both sides (or whichever side is tighter). A good measure you can do to see if one side is tighter than the other look at yourself in the mirror and slowly open your jaw. If your jaw shifts to one side or the other when you open, that side tends to be a little tighter. So say I opened my mouth and my jaw is sort of deviating to the right I would want to work on the right muscles a little bit more than the left side.