Q:

What are jaw exercises?

A:

Jaw exercises help relax the muscles and increase mobility in the jaw. According to Web MD, jaw exercises can also help ease the pain that arises from temporomandibular disorders. Steven R. Pohlhaus, DDS recommends assisted openings, resisted openings, mid-line exercises, simple stretches, lateral movement exercises and neck stretches.

Steven R. Pohlhaus, DDS, from the Baltimore Center for Laser Dentistry, describes several different jaw exercises. To perform an assisted-opening, place two fingers on the lower front teeth and slowly open the mouth as wide as possible while pushing down. For a resisted-opening, open the jaw as slowly as possible with the chin cupped in the palm. For a mid-line-exercise, bite the teeth together and take notice of the position of the two-center-teeth in relation to the lower jaw in the mirror. From there, open the jaw slowly while keeping the lower jaw as centered as possible.

A simple-stretch-exercise involves slowly opening the jaw as wide as is comfortable. To perform a lateral-movement-exercise, open the jaw about one inch from a clenched bite. Move the lower jaw to the right, then back to the center, then to the left. For a neck-stretch-exercise, attempt to touch each ear to the shoulder by bending the neck to the side. According to Steven R. Pohlhaus, DDS, all of these exercises should be repeated 10 times.


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