Jaw joint exercises

by Gingin
(Northern Ca.)

First exercise - not sure if doing it correctly, however feels very relaxing; almost like an acupuncture point.

However, since I'm not sure if I'm doing it correctly, I hesitate to use my other hand to apply gentle pressure, which I did, but very gingerly. Is it possible to have a diagram that would be terrific!

I have had a ton of dental work, and wear night guard, but still grind. No pain, but popping and clicking.

I was married to a chiropractor, unfortunately no longer am.

Thank you very much! I so appreciate it; and your precious time.


Hello Gingin,
Sorry about the marriage; we're an ornery lot, just ask she who must be obeyed in my own family! You can read about her and our own somewhat stormy relationship at Bernard-Preston.com. Only if you're very bored!

I'll do my best to get a photos of the position; glad that it's helping.

No one seems to be quite sure what is the cause of grinding; bruxism as it's called. Don't get anxious about it, that will only make it worse, but do wear your guard at night.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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My jaw exercises

by Zakia Ahmad
(Jersey City )

I was injured when I was younger; my cheek bones were injured really badly. Since then I haven't been able to open my mouth fully. When I try it hurts.
I have visited the doctor here in the jersey city, but they said I need therapy but it didn't help.

Can you recommend something? Exercise or medicine?

Hello Zakia,
You can try the exercises at this chiropractic website for a few weeks; do them gently, and remember it shouldn't hurt. Don't try to force your jaw open.

Frankly you need professional help from someone who works regularly with jaw joint pain; start doing your homework and see if you can find a good chiropractor who knows about the TMJ.

It may be difficult by the sounds of things. Injuries of this nature often leave a permanent mark on you.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Osteoradionecrosis and unable to open mouth

by Julia
(Portsmouth )

Hello. I have osteoradionecrosis of the jaw that is getting slowly worse. I had an infection in the jaw and now cannot open my jaw more than a few millimeters. I am in a lot of pain which is managed constantly and my consultant is considering jaw replacement in the damaged area of jaw bone. I need help to open jaw please.

Hello Julia,
I'm sorry to hear all this; nasty time you've had.

The question is what is inhibiting you opening the jaw, and there are many factors; the infection may be in the joint itself, the radiation may have affect the hyaline cartilage, or meniscus or bone in the joint, or perhaps just the muscles from all the trauma to your jaw.

I would suggest starting to do some deep massage on the masseter and temporalis muscles; find them at our TMJ page. Do it then whilst gently opening and closing the jaw, trying to very gently stretch those muscles.

Then, and this may be extremely painful so do it very gently, slide your finger, pulp facing outwards into the 'pterygoid pocket' and locate the 'external pterygoid muscle'. Like I said I'll bet it's very tender and do the same but only a few times; you may find the pain radiates right into your head and eye if that muscle has an active trigger point.

Alternating ice and heat over the jaw joints and those external muscles before and after the massage would help.

Talk to your consultant about this, and see what he thinks. He will be able to help you locate the pterygoid pocket; Dr Google also provides information. And I think it's on one of our TMJ pages.

Then there are our TMJ exercises; again start very slowly and gently. I expect there are some chiropractors in your area who do a lot of TMJ work; really it's a specialisation within our profession, so perhaps a call to the state association.

I wonder if a chicken bones bouillon might help?

Even if this gets only a 10 or perhaps 50 percent increase in your opening it would all help. Let me know how you get on.

Any idea what caused the cancer?

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Dental repercussions

by John
(England )

I had a crown fitted three weeks ago and I am convinced that it has caused TMD. The pain is intermittent and responds well to the cold. It comes and goes for no other apparent reasons. It can be very painful.

Hello John,
The crown was fitted presumably in the chair whilst your were conscious. Working at the back of the mouth means opening the jaw quite wide, but you would have yelled before damage was done to the disc.

I suspect this is something that will pass. Massage the masseter and temporalis muscles on the side of the head, wriggle your jaw about, and use ice as you say.

If the crown is lying proud then it will need to be ground down a bit. Talk to your dentist.

Let me know in a few weeks if this is still troubling you.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Sensitive Hearing

by Charlotte
(Silverton, OR, USA)

Examination of the TMJ

Examination of the TMJ

Thank you for your website. I have been diagnosed with Hyperacusis, a hearing condition where everyday sounds have become painful. However, I also have pain in the jaw in front of my ears, kind of like my ears are trying to close themselves off from sound. I have found some of the TMJ exercises you posted helpful in relaxing my face, and I have heard of correlations between TMJ and ear pain.

The treatment protocol for Hyperacusis is too expensive for me right now, so I am trying to eliminate all the other peripheral contributors and treat it myself as best I can. A Naturopath suggested that balancing the fluid in the ear might help, by balancing sodium and potassium intake.

Do you have any insight about how the hearing sensitivity might be related to TMJ or Chiropractic disorders? Are there any stretches/exercises that you think might help? Any insight would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Hello Charlotte,
If you have pain in your jaw joints, just in front of the ears, then it needs to be attended to anyway; the question is something of chicken and egg though. Is the TMJ causing the hyperacusis, or vice versa?

Try a little test. Place your index finger with the pulp outwards into the "ptergoid pocket" and poke around. Is is exceptionally tender, and does the pain explode into your head?

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Apr 23, 2016
Pterygoid pocket not really tender
by: Charlotte

Thanks, Dr. B.

I reached my pinky into my mouth and checked for tenderness between by cheek and upper teeth and behind my molars. I didn't have any particular tenderness nor any increase in pain when I felt around. Afterwards, there was a residual unpleasant sensation in front of my ears though.

Over the past few months, I had dental work done on a molar (a root canal), and I think this has contributed to the jaw pain. The hearing sensitivity was there before the dental work though. Also, I recently changed my pillow, thinking that a pillow that supported my jaw more might help. I think that it IS helping, but it's hard to get used to.

I'm not sure if I have 2 separate issues, 2 issues that are "reflecting" each other, or 1 issue that is showing in 2 places.

Thank you for your interest in my issue, and for your thoughts.


Pleasure, Charlotte, but I have no experience of hearing and the jaw joint, despite their proximity. Keep an open mind.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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Migraine exercises

by Connie Scotto
(Brooklyn, NY USA)

I have tmj disorder. Is it safe to do these exercises while having the migraine?

Hello Connie,
Safe but perhaps not wise; to be quite honest not sure. I'd be inclined not to.

Dr Barrie Lewis

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