by Joshua Allen, DMD, Owner & Dentist, Keep Smiling Family Dentistry
Many people work long hours and are under a lot of stress. This can take its toll on your body, joints and especially your jaw muscles.
If you’ve been feeling tension and tightness in your jaw muscles lately, don’t worry — there are several easy ways to reduce the stress. Here are three tips for reducing stress in the jaw muscles.
Give yourself a massage. Massage is an effective way to reduce tension and stress. There are many exercises to try with a simple search online. For the best relief, however, visit a professional who has a good understanding of the jaw joint (the TMJ) and surrounding muscles including the masseter, pterygoids and temporalis. This could be a chiropractor, dentist, massage therapist or physical therapist.
Try breathwork or meditation to help yourself relax. With your lips together, but your teeth apart, press your tongue gently on the roof of your mouth. Do this while breathing through your nose and actively focus on relaxing different parts of your body such as your head and neck.
Taking time out of your day to practice these relaxation techniques can help reduce tension in the TMJ especially. It can also have a calming effect on both mind and body. Try to incorporate these activities into your daily routine to see maximum results.
Practice proper posture throughout the day. Poor posture puts added strain on our neck and facial muscles that could lead to increased stress in our jaw joints over time if not corrected immediately.
To prevent this from happening, make sure you are sitting up straight with both feet flat on the ground when seated and standing up tall with shoulders back when standing for extended periods of time during the day.
It’s normal to experience some degree of stress from time to time due to our hectic lifestyles and demanding jobs, but that doesn’t mean we have to suffer from painful jaw muscle tension as well.
By following these three tips for reducing tension in the jaw muscles, you should be able to find some much-needed relief so you can focus on what matters most.