Tips & Tricks, TMJ

3 Things to Know About TMJ Pain and Jaw Exercises for Teeth Grinding

jaw exercises for teeth grinding

What do you know about TMJ pain and jaw exercises for teeth grinding? You can read about it here in this helpful overview.

3 Things To Know About TMJ Pain and Jaw Exercises for Teeth Grinding

For so many people, jaw pain is a regular occurrence that interrupts daily life and is very difficult to deal with. It can lead to headaches, difficulty eating, and even broken teeth. There are a lot of causes for this kind of issue but one of the most common is teeth grinding and clenching.

Once you’ve figured out why you’re experiencing such pain, it’s important to come up with a plan to combat the issue. The quicker you find a solution, the less overall damage you’ll experience.

defend your teeth against the daily grind graphic

Follow these jaw exercises for teeth grinding to help you get stronger to avoid serious consequences.

1. Wear a Night Guard

Often, the most teeth-grinding happens while you’re sleeping. We unconsciously rub our teeth together all through the night. Since you’re not awake, it can be difficult to determine if this is what’s happening or not.

But if you wake up with a sore jaw every morning, have regular headaches, or sleep poorly in general, it’s a likely cause.

One of the best things you can do is start to wear a custom night guard for your teeth. A mouth guard protects the teeth from the added friction that comes from grinding together. The appliance can also constrict the movement to lessen the grinding altogether.

2. Stretch the Jaw Daily

Even with a night guard, it’s important to do all you can to stop grinding your teeth, including stretching your jaw daily. When you have been grinding for an extended period of time, the muscles become tighter and tighter. This can leave you more susceptible to teeth grinding, creating a terrible cycle.

A basic jaw stretch you can add to your routine is letting the jaw relax and then slowly open your mouth as wide as it will go. Once you’ve reached the maximum stretch hold it open for a few seconds, then release and rest. Repeat a few times each day!

3. Strength Training

Stretching has a big impact on reducing teeth grinding but sometimes you need to add in a little bit of resistance to increase your strength.

There are a lot of options to do this type of exercise but one of the most common is done by pushing two fingers under the chin. With that resistance then try to open your mouth slowly. This will help train the muscles and increase the results you see.

Jaw Exercises for Teeth Grinding to Try

  1. Place your thumb under your chin and open your mouth slowly as wide as you can without causing pain. Hold at the widest point for 5 seconds before closing your mouth slowly. Repeat 5 times.
  2. Place your tongue against the roof of your mouth. Gently open your mouth as far as you can without moving your tongue. Slowly open and close your mouth 5 times.
  3. Place a pencil or pen between your teeth without clenching your teeth. Slowly shift your jaw from one side to another. Repeat 5 times. Lastly, using the same pen or pencil, shift your lower jaw until your upper teeth are behind your lower teeth.
  4. Stretch your neck muscles before bed. Slowly and intentionally stretch your neck and jaw before bed. Relax and be gentle. Don’t rush.

A few minutes of these exercises several times per day may help relax and stretch the muscles involved in tooth grinding and clenching.

Oral health is such a key component to overall wellness and any disruption to your teeth, jaw, or mouth can be extremely frustrating. Continually doing these jaw exercises for teeth grinding will help you limit the problems you experience.

It’s also important to work with your dentist or healthcare provider to come up with a plan if you continue to experience pain and discomfort. The last thing you want to do is let the problem continue for so long that you have serious damage or lasting problems. It’s worth the time and effort to figure out the best solution.

If you’re interested in getting professional help to stop grinding your teeth, contact us today!



sentinel mouthguards author
Ashely Notarmaso

Ashely Notarmaso is the author behind the Sentinel Mouth Guard Blog. She is the CEO and founder of Sentinel Mouth Guards (Founded in 2012) Her long-time work in the dental mouth guard arena and her excellent ability to listen to customer concerns in this often contradictory field has laid the groundwork to explore night guard/mouth guard fabrication in-depth and address real concerns. With the help of her team, she has created a unique fabrication method that promises a great fitting custom oral appliance every time. Amazon’s choice for #1 mouth guard! Visit the online store

Verified By

medically reviewed by dr lara coseo
Dr. Lara Coseo, DDS

Doctor of Dental Surgery
Baylor College of Dentistry

Dr. Lara Coseo, (DDS, FAGD) is a 2004 graduate of Baylor College of Dentistry in Dallas, Texas. Having practiced general dentistry for 13 years, Dr. Lara currently serves as a Professor at Texas A&M College of Dentistry.

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