Symptoms of TMD Include:
- Pain in one or both of your jaw joints, your face or neck
- Pain when you chew
- Stiff jaw muscles
- Difficulty with fitting your teeth together.
The good news is that most of the pain you get from TMD can be treated. Massage can help treat the cause of the problem, which relieves the symptoms. Sometimes the pain can come from something as simple as grinding or clenching your teeth, and if this case especially, regular massage therapy can really help to make a difference by helping counteract the stress that’s making you grind your teeth.
A dentistry study found that the teeth-clenching and grinding which often leads to TMD reduced when the masseter facial muscles were massaged.
Stress Relief Can Lead to TMD Relief.
Studies concerning massage as an effective stress reliever and its role in reducing anxiety, tension and stress has been reliably proven over the years. Massage can lead to lower cortisol levels and increases in the amounts of feel good hormones such oxytocin and serotonin. The feeling of total relaxation that can be induced by regular massage is the key to reducing stress-related habits like teeth grinding.
Home Massage for TMD
Specific techniques can help the symptoms as they flare up, too. Try massaging your jaw with a kneading type pressure – use your fingers to make a constant, circular motion against the joints and muscles that are most affected.
Find the masseter muscles in your lower jaw – these are directly behind your molars and sitting just below your cheekbone.
Start the massage by touching the corner of your mouth, then working your fingers all along your jaw until you feel a flat plane of bone. Massage the area by pressing gently with two or three fingers in a circular motion. Massaging like this helps to warm up the muscles. Keep doing the jaw massage and you should feel some relief from the pain. Your teeth should be touching only when eating. Become aware of your clinched teeth and drop your jaw open, take a nice breath and relax that jaw. Massage for your jaw area is incorporated into your full body massage at living well.