Intraoral massage is a fantastic way to reduce TMJ pain and its something you can do at any time. My preferred time of doing it is in the morning when I am showering and at night before I go to bed. The intraoral massage is basically used to target two muscles inside your mouth which can cause severe jaw pain, ear pain, tinnitus, headaches and even toothaches.
The first muscle you should learn about the masseter muscle which is often very tight and sore and has a number of muscle knots causing headaches, ear pain, tinnitus and upper and lower molar pain. Here is an image which shows the referred pain due to trigger points in the masseter muscle.
Intraoral massage for the Masseter
To do this you are going to put your fingers inside your mouth, so ensure you wash them thoroughly or better I would get one of these gloves from amazon. Once you worn the gloves (or washed your hands)
- If you are massaging your left side, use your right arm
- Open your mouth as much as you are comfortable and grasp the cheek muscles inside the mouth.
- Gently massage the message searching around for really sore points, they might be sore and tender to the touch but as you massage them, you will find that the tenderness slowly goes away
- Massage for 60-90 seconds and then stop, don’t over do it
- Switch to the other side (use your other arm for the other side
The second muscle you should learn about is the Lateral Pterygoid muscle . Tightness in this muscle can result in severe jaw pain, ear aches, tinnitus and even an inability to open your mouth. Here is an image showing the referred pain patterns of the Lateral Ptrerygoid muscle
Lateral Pterygoid massage to reduce jaw pain
- Wash your hands thoroughly before you start (yes you are going to put your hand inside your mouth again – or wear gloves)
- If you are massaging your right side, use your right hand
- Now take your index finger and run it on the outside of your molars (with your hands inside the mouth
- Keep extending your finger until you reach a hollow behind your last molar. This might be really sore and painful to touch
- Apply gentle pressure on it until you can feel the pain ebbing away Do this regularly on a daily basis every morning.
Do note that the important thing is you should do this slowly not expect results immediately. Your muscles might be sore to the touch and even painful and it will take time to fully loosen and release them.