Simple Exercises to Strengthen Your Jaw

Exercises to Strengthen Your Jaw

This post was updated on 10-18-2018

Performing gentle jaw strengthening exercises regularly will not only strengthen the masseter muscles (the muscles that open and close the mouth) but will also improve the range of motion of your jaw. Both outcomes will help to ease the symptoms associated with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. For those without jaw problems, jaw muscle exercises will help reduce the likelihood of developing a TMJ disorder in the first place.

Dr. Ivan Stein from the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey outlines a few helpful jaw strengthening exercises that you can perform anywhere as you go about your daily life. Perform one or more of these exercises daily, or as often as possible, to help with TMJ symptoms that include facial pain and headaches.

TMJ Jaw Exercise #1

  1. Relax your shoulders and let your lower jaw relax.
  2. Relax your tongue and make an “M” sound with your mouth closed. Keeping your jaw relaxed, with your teeth not touching, move your lower jaw up and down and side to side.
  3. Open your mouth as wide as possible without pain and then move your jaw back and forth from side to side. Repeat this entire exercise at least 10 times before relaxing your jaw muscles.

TMJ Jaw Exercise #2

  1. Use your palm to slowly push on one side of your jaw, with the chin as the pressure point. Using your jaw muscle, push back and resist gently against your palm; make sure that your teeth are aligned as you do so. This resistance should start off gently, with you pushing a little harder if there is no pain. Hold this resistance on both ends for about five seconds, and repeat this about three to five times on both sides of your jaw.
  2. With your fingers, push down gently on your bottom teeth and use your jaw to resist this motion. Try to keep your jaw in place, without moving, and don’t bite down. Hold this position for five seconds, repeating it for three to five sets.
  3. Keep your mouth slightly open and your teeth aligned. Using your palm, gently push your chin up and then back in towards you, all the while resisting with your jaw to keep it from moving. Hold this light resistance for five seconds. Repeat this step three to five times.

TMJ Jaw Exercise #3

  1. Opening your mouth as wide as you can, hold it open for 10-15 seconds, and then close it. Repeat this step a few times.
  2. Next, open your mouth as wide as you can and slide your lower jaw to the side as far over as you can. Hold this position for 10 seconds, and then close your mouth. Repeat this step, sliding your jaw over to the other side.
  3. With your mouth open as wide as you can, stick out your tongue as far as you can. Hold this position for 10-15 seconds, and then close your mouth. Repeat a few times.
  4. With your mouth open slightly, use your index and middle finger to press down onto your lower row of teeth, creating resistance. Now, try closing your mouth against this resistance, holding the resistance for about 10 seconds. Relax and close your mouth.

Learn More about Jaw Muscle Exercises for TMJ

Are you suffering from jaw pain, headaches and other painful symptoms of TMJ disorder? Dr. Ivan Stein can help! To schedule a complimentary consultation, call (855) TMJ-DOCS or (855) 865-3627.