Facial Muscles and Jaw Exercises
The temporomandibular joint is responsible for the movement of our jaw during chewing, speaking, mouth opening, and other activities. This is regulated by a number of muscles that work in perfect harmony. Facial muscles and jaw exercises are an important tool for improving oral care.
The facial muscles responsible for the functioning of jaws are temporalis, Masseter, Lateral pteroid, medial pterygoid, buccinator, etc. These muscles have all specific functions and all work in a collision during the opening and closing of the mouth and other jaw movements during talking and eating. They are extremely important as they hold our jaw in place and connect it to our skull. Many a time, an injury to the jaw, an infection causing inflammation, or even overuse can cause temporomandibular joint problems. A problem in the ™ joint or its muscle may lead to various problems like :
● Pain while chewing
● Clicking or popping sounds during chewing, sleeping, etc.
● Locking of the jaw while sleeping
● Pain radiating to ears, temple, face, neck, etc.
Jaw exercises have been proven to be effective in relieving the symptoms and helping with the temporomandibular joint problems. Jaw exercises strengthen the jaw muscles by working them up, increasing jaw mobility, reduce clicking, and thus helping in healing. A 2010 study in the Journal of dental research has stated the efficacy of jaw exercises in increasing the range of movement of the jaw in TM joint problems.
The simplest way to relieve pain and inflammation in the TM joint is massaging the area in front of our ear which is the region of the joint. This helps in reducing the tension and pain, allowing easy exercising of the facial muscles. Exercises to strengthen jaw muscles can be done by placing a thumb against the chin and pushing the chin downwards against it, trying to open your mouth against pressure.
Similarly closing the mouth against resistance applied by index finger between the chin and pushing inward while trying to close the jaw. These exercises exert pressure on the jaw muscles strengthening them.
In case of excessive stress on the jaw muscles, relaxation exercises can be beneficial.
Stretching exercises relieve strain in the jaw muscles and TM joint during a flare-up. This can be done by placing the tip of the tongue on the palate and trying to open the mouth wide and back up.
A lot of people perform jaw exercises to improve their jawlines. These are chiropractic exercises for maintaining neck and facial muscles to keep the jawline sharper. They are also known to keep neck pain at bay. Exercises like neck curl-up, collar bone backup, tongue twister, vowel sounds, chin up, etc. have been advised by trainers for jawline improvement.
The bottom line is like any other part of our body jaw muscles play an important role in vital functions. Any issues with the joint or muscle would need exercises and medications.
Facial muscles and jaw exercises are an important consideration in any oral health routine. Please contact us for more details.
Dr Hafsa Alidrissi is a dentist and a certified expert with oral health and digital dentistry in Dubai and can advise you on best practices regarding looking after your mouth and teeth.
Please contact her now to book a consultation. Contact details can be found HERE.
You can find out more information about facial muscles HERE
More information can be found HERE Wikipedia.