7 Effective TMJ Dysfunction Exercises for Pain Relief

7 Effective TMJ Dysfunction Exercises for Pain Relief

If you’re dealing with TMJ dysfunction, you know how disruptive the pain can be to your daily life. While medication and therapy are common treatments, simple exercises can also provide significant relief.

Incorporating jaw relaxation techniques and specific movements, such as goldfish exercises and chin tucks, can reduce tension and improve jaw function.

Being able to manage your pain with just a few minutes of practice each day is possible. Curious about how these exercises can shift your experience with TMJ dysfunction? Let’s explore seven of these effective methods in detail.

To alleviate TMJ dysfunction symptoms, integrating specific jaw relaxation techniques into your daily routine is essential. These TMJ exercises focus on how to relieve jaw pain by reducing tension and enhancing mobility.

Start with the tongue rest position: place your tongue’s tip against the roof of your mouth, just behind your front teeth. This simple TMJ therapy treatment keeps your jaw in a relaxed state.

Controlled movements like gentle jaw opening and closing, combined with side-to-side motions, can also offer TMJ relief. Practicing these TMJ exercises twice daily for short durations helps retrain your jaw muscles, preventing discomfort and promoting better function.

Let’s now concentrate on goldfish exercises, which utilize specific jaw movements to improve TMJ function and alleviate pain. These exercises involve placing your tongue on the roof of your mouth and gently opening and closing your jaw.

Here’s how to do them:

  1. Partial Goldfish: Place your tongue on the roof of your mouth. Use one finger to gently push your chin down halfway, then close your mouth.
  2. Full Goldfish: Repeat the same motion, but this time, open your jaw fully.
  3. Repetitions: Perform each exercise six times, twice daily.

Here is a useful video tutorial from Pinnacle Max Recovery on how to perform these exercises:


Incorporating chin tucks into your daily regimen can strengthen cervical muscles and enhance head and spine alignment, directly impacting TMJ function.

This simple exercise involves pulling your chin straight back and down towards your chest, creating a double chin. Hold this position for three seconds and repeat it up to 10 times.

Chin tucks target the muscles involved in jaw movement, promoting proper alignment and reducing strain on the jaw joint. By regularly practicing chin tucks, you can alleviate TMJ pain and discomfort, contributing to overall jaw muscle strength and mobility.

Integrating this exercise into your routine empowers you to control your TMJ symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Here is a simple video tutorial from the Cleveland Clinic on how to perform the exercises:

Building on the benefits gained from chin tucks, resisted mouth opening exercises can further enhance jaw muscle strength and alleviate TMJ discomfort. By incorporating this exercise into your routine, you can improve mobility and reduce tension in your jaw.

Here’s how to perform it:

  1. Place your thumb under your chin.
  2. Slowly open your mouth while gently pushing upward with your thumb.
  3. Hold for a few seconds, then close your mouth slowly.

Regularly performing resisted mouth opening helps to strengthen jaw muscles and can alleviate TMJ pain. It’s crucial to stay consistent and gradually increase the duration and frequency.

Here is another easy to understand video tutorial from the Cleveland Clinc:

By stretching and strengthening the surrounding muscles, side-to-side jaw movement is a targeted exercise that enhances jaw mobility and eases TMJ discomfort.

  1. Begin by keeping your neck still and gently moving your jaw to the left.
  2. Hold the position for a few seconds, then return to the centre.
  3. Repeat this motion to the right.

This exercise helps increase your range of motion and relaxes the muscles around your temporomandibular joint. Regular practice can notably reduce tension and discomfort. Aim to incorporate this exercise into your daily routine, gradually increasing its frequency and duration.

Here is another easy to understand video tutorial from the Cleveland Clinc:


Following the side-to-side jaw movement, the Tongue Up Exercise specifically targets and strengthens jaw muscles by having you touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth while extending your jaw downward. This method improves jaw mobility and helps alleviate TMJ pain.

Here’s how to perform the exercise:

  1. Touch your tongue to the roof of your mouth.
  2. Slowly lower your jaw while not moving your tongue.
  3. Repeat the motion 10 times, three times a day.

This exercise enhances the range of motion and strengthens the muscles involved in jaw movement. By integrating the Tongue Up Exercise into your routine, you can experience significant relief from TMJ-related symptoms like jaw pain and headaches.

Forward enhance jaw mobility and alleviate TMJ-related discomfort, forward jaw movement exercises are essential components of your daily routine. Moving your jaw forward without strain will improve flexibility and range of motion.

It’s vital to perform these exercises regularly to relax the muscles around your jaw joints, promote better alignment, and reduce tension. As you practice forward jaw movements, you’ll strengthen the supporting jaw muscles, which helps alleviate discomfort associated with TMJ dysfunction.

Start with short sessions twice daily, then gradually increase the frequency and duration. Consistent practice can notably reduce symptoms like jaw pain and difficulty opening your mouth, helping you regain your freedom and comfort in daily activities.

In Closing...

Incorporating these TMJ exercises into your daily routine is like having a trusty Swiss Army knife for jaw pain relief.

By dedicating just a few minutes each day to jaw relaxation, Goldfish exercises, chin tucks, resisted mouth opening, side-to-side movements, tongue-up exercises, and forward jaw movement, you’ll retrain your muscles, reduce tension, and alleviate discomfort.

Rely on these proven techniques, and you’ll be well on your way to a pain-free, more mobile jaw.

Take control today, get the help you need to fix your TMJ once and for all by booking in online or call (03) 4821 5023 to see one of our experienced TMJ physiotherapists.

Rosanna Physiotherapy

Rosanna Physiotherapy

Rosanna Physio has been serving the people of Rosanna and its surrounding suburbs since 1989. We have the experience and education to effectively treat any muscle or joint injury that requires expert physical therapy care.

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