TMJ Exercises for Pain Relief: A Guide to Jaw Strengthening

Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain is a common problem affecting millions of people worldwide. This condition, also known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD), involves discomfort and dysfunction in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. It can cause a wide range of symptoms, such as jaw pain, stiffness, clicking or popping noises, difficulty chewing, and even headaches. While there are various treatment options available for TMJ pain, one effective way to alleviate symptoms and improve jaw function is through regular exercise. TMJ exercises can help strengthen the muscles that support the jaw, increase flexibility, and reduce tension. 

In this guide, we will explore the benefits of performing TMJ exercises and provide a comprehensive list of jaw strengthening exercises that can be easily incorporated into your daily routine. Whether you are suffering from mild or severe TMJ pain, incorporating these exercises into your self-care routine can help bring relief and improve your overall quality of life. So, let’s dive in and learn more about TMJ exercises for pain relief.

Understanding TMJ and the Benefits of Exercises

TMJ exercises are designed to target the muscles and joints around the jaw, promoting relaxation, increased flexibility, and improved function. These exercises can be particularly beneficial for individuals experiencing jaw pain, clicking, or limited movement. Before starting any exercises, it’s advisable to consult with a healthcare professional or dentist to ensure they are suitable for your specific condition.

1. Jaw Relaxation Exercise


  • Find a comfortable and quiet space.
  • Close your eyes and take a few deep breaths to relax.
  • Gently open your mouth as wide as comfortable without causing pain.
  • Hold the open position for a few seconds, then close your mouth slowly.


Repeat this exercise 5-10 times, gradually increasing the duration as your jaw muscles become more relaxed.

2. Resisted Opening and Closing


  • Place your thumb under your chin, applying gentle upward pressure.
  • Open your mouth slowly against the resistance of your thumb.
  • Close your mouth using your hand to provide resistance.


  • Repeat this exercise 10-15 times, ensuring smooth and controlled movements.

3. Side-to-Side Jaw Movement


  • Slowly move your jaw to one side, as if trying to touch your ear with your chin.
  • Hold this position for a few seconds.
  • Return your jaw to the center and repeat on the other side.


  • Perform this exercise 5-8 times on each side, gradually increasing as your jaw flexibility improves.

4. Tongue-Up Exercise


  • Place the tip of your tongue on the roof of your mouth.
  • Open your mouth as wide as comfortable while keeping your tongue in position.
  • Hold for a few seconds and then close your mouth.


  • Repeat 8-10 times, focusing on maintaining tongue placement throughout the exercise.

5. Chin Tucks for Neck and Jaw Alignment


  • Stand or sit with a straight posture.
  • Gently tuck your chin towards your chest, feeling a stretch at the back of your neck.
  • Hold for 5-10 seconds before returning to the starting position.


  • Repeat this exercise 5-8 times, incorporating it into your daily routine for neck and jaw alignment.

Important Tips:

  • Perform exercises slowly and gently to avoid causing additional strain.
  • If you experience pain during any exercise, stop immediately and consult with a healthcare professional.
  • Consistency is key; aim to incorporate these exercises into your routine regularly for optimal benefits.


By incorporating these TMJ exercises into your daily routine, you can contribute to pain relief, improve jaw flexibility, and promote overall well-being. Remember to consult with a healthcare professional or dentist before starting any new exercise regimen, especially if you have pre-existing jaw conditions. Taking proactive steps towards jaw strengthening can lead to increased comfort and better jaw function over time.

You might also enjoy