Here are some simple exercises to help with jaw soreness or bite changes you experience with the use of your oral appliance. When doing these exercises move your jaw far enough to feel the muscles stretch but avoid any movements that increase pain or soreness. Please remember that you can pause at any point during this video to complete the repetitions and you can perform these at any time of day. Before you begin you may apply moist heat on the affected areas for up to 10 minutes and self-massage the cheeks and temples. This improves blood flow to the muscles.
Let’s begin with some stretching exercises. Set your head back into a relaxed position resting on a comfortable surface like a headrest sofa cushion or soft carpet. Place the tip of your tongue behind your front upper teeth. While holding your tongue in that position open and close your mouth. Repeat this slowly ten times. Next place the tip of your tongue behind your front upper teeth. Slide your tongue along the roof of your mouth toward the back of your throat. Return your tongue to behind your front teeth again. Repeat this slowly ten times.
Next we’ll do some isometric exercises. These exercises work by moving your jaw against resistance. To prevent overworking these muscles you’ll only use two fingers for resistance for certain movements and fist or hand resistance for opening exercises. There are four jaw movements that we will go over. Opening, protruding, and right and left lateral exercises each should be repeated slowly 10 times. Place your fist under your chin. Open your mouth slowly against light pressure. Do not over extend your jaw beyond a comfortable opening then close your mouth again. Repeat this movement slowly ten times. Next place two fingers on the center of your chin. Push your chin outward against your fingers slowly against the light resistance then bring your chin back into a resting position again. Repeat this movement 10 times.
Now place two fingers on the right side of your chin. Move your jaw to the right side against light pressure do not overextend your jaw past a comfortable point. It’s important to maintain control over the movement to prevent self-injury. Then bring your jaw back into a resting position. Repeat this movement slowly about 10 times. Now place two fingers on the left side of your chin move your jaw to the left against light pressure then return your jaw to resting position. Repeat this slowly about 10 times.
At the end of this routine you should ideally be free of soreness and your teeth should fit easily back together. It’s important to exercise carefully and avoid any movements that increase pain. Most importantly contact your treating dentist if morning symptoms persist throughout the day or if pain increases as your dentist may be able to help. For more information go to aadsm.org learn more.