Massage for a Sore Jaw – TMJ
If you’re experiencing pain, stiffness, and clicking noises in your jaw, you might be one of the 15 percent of adults who are thought to have TMJ or temporomandibular joint problems. TMJ, known medically as TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), affects more women than men. And it also tends to affect people from 20 to 40 years of age. But there is a specific home massage technique for a sore jaw that can help relieve some symptoms.
Symptoms of TMJ include:
- Pain in one or both of your jaw joints, your face, or neck
- Pain when you chew
- Stiff jaw muscles
- Difficulty with fitting your teeth together.
While it can be a symptom, a clicking noise doesn’t necessarily mean you have TMD. Many people experience popping and clicking noises with their jaws, and it’s only likely to be caused by TMD if you have one or more of the other symptoms.
The good news is that you can treat most of the pain you get from TMD without needing surgery. A massage can help treat the cause of the problem, which relieves the symptoms. Sometimes the pain can come from something as simple as grinding or clenching your teeth. In this case, regular massage therapy can really help make a difference by counteracting the stress that makes you grind your teeth.
In 1981, a dentistry study found that the teeth-clenching and grinding, which often leads to TMD, reduced when a therapist massaged the masseter facial muscles.
Stress Relief Can Lead to TMD Relief.
We all know of the studies into massage as an effective stress reliever. And also, its role in reducing anxiety, tension, and stress has been reliably proven over the years. Massage leads to lower cortisol levels and increases in feel-good hormones such as oxytocin and serotonin. The total relaxation induced by regular massage is the key to reducing stress-related habits like teeth grinding.
Home Massage for Sore Jaw or TMD
Specific techniques can help the symptoms as they flare up, too. Try massaging your jaw with a kneading type pressure – use your fingers to make a constant, circular motion against the joints and muscles that are most affected.
Find the masseter muscles in your lower jaw – these are directly behind your molars and sitting just below your cheekbone.
Start the massage by touching the corner of your mouth, then working your fingers all along your jaw until you feel a flat plane of bone. Massage the area by pressing gently with two or three fingers in a circular motion. Massaging like this helps warm up the muscles and stimulates lymph function, flushing out toxins simultaneously. Keep going with the jaw massage until you feel some relief from the pain.
Brilliant Massage & Skin