Tricks and ways of, how to relax the jaw muscles may not seem important to most of the people, however, some people suffer from certain conditions and disorders where the muscles and jaw joints need to relax in order to return to their normal state and function.
The upper and the lower jaw meet at a point that is called temporomandibular joint or TMJ. That point consists of muscles and bones, and when the muscles are relaxed a person is able to open and close the mouth without problems like pain and stiffness. When the muscles are stiff, it causes problems like locked jaw, pain and biting problems. Those problems are part of what is called temporomandibular joint disorder, usually caused by teeth clenching or an injury.
People who suffer from it can benefit from learning different ways to relax their jaw muscles.
The first thing to do is to provide plenty of rest to stiff jaw muscles. The next thing is to ease the pressure on the jaw, by eating softer foods and taking care not to clench the teeth.
Another thing that helps is application of heat or cold. The heat improves blood flow to the area and helps relax the muscles. This can be done by taking a wet, clean towel, microwaving it until it is warm and applying it for five to ten minutes on each side of the jaw. This should be repeated two or three times a day.
Alternatively, cold can be applied by using an ice pack and holding it for five to ten minutes, three or four times a day.
Massaging the muscles using a finger, with circular motions also helps, especially if combined with gentle stretching of the muscles by opening and closing the mouth.
There are several exercises that can help bring jaw muscles in normal shape.
Before doing any exercise, it is important to warm the muscles up, by opening the mouth very widely several times. After this, the mouth should be opened again, only this time the pressure is applied to the muscles using a hand.
Another way to exercise is to place index fingers inside small indentations at the end of the jaw, just next to the ear and to push the jaw to the side. This will cause mild pain, and after a few seconds the jaw should be gently massaged.
Yet another way is to open the mouth as wide as possible, put a finger on the lower front teeth and apply pressure while trying to close the mouth.
These exercises should be repeated daily, until the muscles become constantly relaxed and return to normal.