4 Ways to Ease Jaw Pain

Temporomandibular joint (or TMJ) disorders affect more than 10 million Americans, according to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, and for those whose symptoms arenít severe enough to warrant medical action, it can be a painful and annoying malady.

The temporomandibular joint is essentially the jaw joint, and individualsí TMJ symptoms range from annoying clicking sounds when opening the mouth to a full-on inability to open the jaw. If you have TMJ and donít have any plans to take medical action, there are some steps you can take at home to help alleviate jaw tension and reduce pain. Here are a few tips and tricks for TMJ sufferers to try.

Apply Ice

Though it may sound basic, the first step to take when youíre experiencing jaw pain is to apply ice or a cold compress. This will reduce swelling in the joint, thereby alleviating some of the pain and inflammation that itís causing. Your jaw is a joint just like any otheróif you were experiencing knee pain, you wouldnít hesitate to apply something cold, would you?

Stretch the Jaw

Secondly, itís important to stretch out the muscles around the jaw. There are a few specific jaw exercises you can perform, according to Colgate.

Start by touching your tongue to the roof of your mouth, keeping your teeth gently apart and your jaw completely relaxed. While keeping the tongue affixed to the roof of your mouth, slowly open your jaw as wide as you can before you feel any pain. Hold, and then close the mouth gently. Repeat for as long as you are able.

Another exercise you can do is simply to open your mouth wide, very slowly. After closing it again, move the jaw to the left and then to the right. I canít emphasize enough that this should be done slowly and in a relaxed manner.

Strengthen the Jaw

Itís important to strengthen your jaw as much as possible so that the muscles around the joint become strong enough to hold it in place. To do this, start with your mouth closed and your jaw relaxed. Place your thumb underneath your chin. Slowly begin to open the mouth, thereby pressing down on your thumb. Your thumb will create resistance that will help to strengthen the muscles in your jaw.


Finally, self-massage can help alleviate pain and relax the muscles surrounding your jaw. For many TMJ sufferers, the most effective jaw massage is a kneading massage. Using your knuckles (or your fingertips if the knuckles trigger pain), start at the corners of your mouth and work your way back toward your jaw, kneading as you go. When you find a flat, hard surface, youíve come upon the joint itself. Stay there and concentrate on kneading the area to your desired level of intensity.


heather g
heather gabout a year ago


Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for sharing.

bob P
bob Pabout a year ago

Thanks for sharing

Siyus C
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago

Thank you

Elena Poensgen
Elena Poensgenabout a year ago


Melissa DogLover
Melissa DogLoverabout a year ago

wonderful suggestions-- jaw pains can be very very painful and hurt a lot!!!!

Veronica D
.about a year ago


Richard A
Richard Aabout a year ago

Thank you for this very helpful article.

Harriet Brown
Harriet Brownabout a year ago