How to Do TMJ Exercises
We recommend several TMJ exercises, including:
- Masseter muscle release
- Protrusive exercise
- Tongue at the roof of the mouth exercise
- Tongue depressor exercise
- Tongue sweep exercise
We include a brief explanation of each exercise, along with a link to an explanatory video for each exercise. If you’d prefer, you can go directly to our TMJ exercises page to see all the videos.
Masseter Muscle Release
Slide your index finger between your teeth and cheek on the same side as the hand, reaching backward until you encounter bone. Slide your finger outward, holding the tissue between your finger and thumb. Move your finger up and down until you encounter a sore spot. Hold the sore spot for about 60 seconds. Do this as necessary for pain relief.
Watch the Masseter Release Exercise Video.
This exercise is intended to help your jaw have better movement.
In this exercise, you push your lower jaw out nearly as far as it will go, then hold for five seconds. Do this about 20 times per day.
Watch the Protrusive Exercise Video.
Tongue at the Roof of Mouth Exercise
This exercise is intended to improve the mobility of your jaw.
Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth behind your upper teeth. Then open your mouth as wide as you can. Hold this position for five seconds. Do this exercise 20 times a day.
Watch the Tongue at the Roof of Mouth Exercise Video.
Tongue Depressor Exercise
The goal of this exercise is to reduce jaw joint noises and discomfort as well as improve your range of motion.
Place a tongue depressor (or clean popsicle stick) and place it between your upper and lower front teeth. Move your lower jaw forward as much as possible while holding the ends of the stick. Slide your jaw to the right. Apply light pressure to the stick and pull down, opening your jaw. Close your jaw and repeat the exercise going to the left this time.
Add a second stick and repeat in both directions. Perform this exercise with increasing numbers of sticks until you reach five sticks.
Watch the Tongue Depressor Exercise Video.
Tongue Sweep Exercise
The goal of this exercise is to reduce intraoral muscle fatigue and tenderness. Place the tip of your tongue under the lip at the midline of your teeth. Move your tongue on the right side of the front of your mouth three times. Then place your tongue in the center of your right cheek. Move your tongue in three clockwise circles, then three counterclockwise circles.
Complete these sets three times daily.
Watch the Tongue Sweep Exercise Video.