Jaw pain can be debilitating and can be caused from a myriad of ways–clenching or grinding teeth, trauma, extensive dental work, and many more. While something like dental work is good, if the muscularity of your mouth and jaw are not massaged or stretched, just like any muscle or group of muscles, they get tight and can cause a considerable amount of discomfort.
Because of the construction of the jaw joint, it leaves a lot of room for possible injury, slight or otherwise. It’s the only hinge joint in the whole body with the ability of moving side to side as well. With all of the different muscles going in different directions, there is actually a lot to get massaged and, for some people, can have an entire hour dedicated to the muscles of the jaw.
Some symptoms of TMJ are:
- “Locking” or “stuck” jaw
- Clicking, popping, or other sounds when opening or closing mouth
- Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
- Tenderness or pain in the face, usually around the jaw and / or ear
- Tenderness or pain when chewing, speaking, or opening mouth wide
- Limited range of motion with opening mouth
TMJ or other jaw pain can also be a causative factor in headaches, neck or shoulder pain, or difficulty sleeping.
A mouth guard protects your teeth from being ground down to nubs; it does not prevent you from grinding, nor does it protect the muscularity of your jaw. Receiving regular massages to help with your jaw pain and TMJ issues will help to loosen the muscles, allowing your face to relax and can decrease the intensity of the clenching or grinding.
We wrote a great article with some tips on how to manage TMJ pain.
Marissa has worked with TMJ issues for years–before she even went to school for massage. It’s one reason why she went to massage school.