A lot of pain is triggered by problems in the jaw. You may not realize it, but you could be clenching and tightening your jaw muscles during the day, or at night.
You could avoid a lot of pain long-term by simply learning how to hold your jaw. In fact, learning how to properly relax it during the day could even help avoid problems while you’re asleep with clenching and/or grinding.
I’d like to pass on some advice from Robert O. Uppgaard DDS in his excellent book Taking Control of TMJ.
- Make a "cluck" sound with your tongue. The front third of your tongue should rest on the roof of your mouth.
- Maintain this position using slight pressure. Do not allow the tongue to touch the teeth.
- Keep your lips together.
- Your teeth should be slightly apart and your lower jaw should be completely relaxed.
- Breathe through your nose. Breathe deeply, from the diaphragm rather than from the chest.
I recommend making this exercise a lifelong habit. Always remember:
- Lips together
- Teeth slightly apart
- Tongue resting on the roof of the mouth
- Lower jaw relaxed
If you feel that your jaw is triggering a lot of your pain, I recommend you get a copy of the book and try the many other tips and exercises. Meanwhile, this one alone could make a big difference.
A review of the book can be found at Taking Control of TMJ: A Review of the Book.
What is 1% Thursday?
Every Thursday at Headache and Migraine News (weather permitting) we’ll talk about one measurable, practical thing we can do to make our lives just 1% better. Usually it will be something very easy, sometimes it will be a challenge. Let us know if you try it, or share an idea of your own – and maybe a year from now we’ll see that things have really changed for the better!