A popping jaw is typically an indication of temporomandibular joint disorder (or TMD). This jaw dysfunction is oftentimes characterized by its unique symptoms, which include a popping or clicking jaw alongside back, neck, and even shoulder pain. However, as uncomfortable as this disorder is, a few at-home exercises can help improve symptoms and alleviate the associated discomfort.
Dr. James Fondriest, your Lake Forest, IL dentist provides TMD sufferers with some simple exercises to reduce popping jaw symptoms.
How to “Unstick Your Lower Jaw”
Sometimes the lower jaw will stick open or only open half way. This is caused when the disc gets stuck and won’t glide normally in function. Move your lower jaw sideways right and lft to unstick it.
Improve Your Popping Jaw Symptoms With These Treatments
- Press your tongue against the roof of your mouth and open your mouth as far as you can without feeling too uncomfortable. Then, take in deep breaths that last two counts or more and release. By repeating this 10 times or more throughout the day, your jaw can start relaxing and stretching in a healthy manner. Furthermore, try expanding your mouth a little each time you complete this exercise to receive the full benefit of the stretch.
- Make a fist and place it underneath your chin. Next, press your fist against your chin to create resistance, and try opening your mouth. Make sure your jaw doesn’t pop in the process. Once your mouth is open wide enough, hold the position for at least 10 seconds and repeat 10 times or more.
- For direct jaw and muscle relaxation, your dentist recommends massaging the jaw joint right underneath the ears. Complete this action in a circular motion both counterclockwise and clockwise. Then, open your mouth and massage the jaw joint again. Take care to do this several times during the day to keep the area free of tension.
- As a final bit of advice, apply heat and ice packs at the conclusion of your day. The heat helps loosen any lingering tension that builds up during the day. On the other hand, the ice pack reduces any inflammation your jaw joint experiences. With these tips, your popping jaw and other TMD symptoms should improve significantly.
- Get an examination by a well trained dentist. A night guard is often recommended to relax the muscles.
Lake Forest Dental Arts Provides TMD Relief Therapy
Don’t allow your popping jaw to cause you continual discomfort. Instead, visit with Dr. Fondriest to receive treatment and to learn more at-home remedies to reduce your discomfort. To schedule an appointment with our Lake Forest, IL dental practice, call (847) 234-0517. Also, visit our website for services, testimonials, and before-and-after gallery.
Our practice serves the Chicago metropolitan area including the North Shore and Northwest suburbs