Modify your jaw movements for TM disorders

Paying attention to how you use your jaw can both prevent and help heal temporomandibular (TM) disorder symptoms. Relax and rest your jaw. Keep your teeth apart and your lips closed. Keep your tongue on the roof of your mouth, not between your teeth. Avoid:

  • Cradling the telephone receiver between your shoulder and jaw.
  • Opening your mouth all the way, as when singing loudly or yawning (try dropping your head to your chest to stifle a yawn).
  • Clenching or grinding your teeth, biting your lips, or chewing your fingernails. Try to recognize when you are clenching your teeth, then relax your jaw and separate your teeth.
  • Clenching things such as pens, pipes, or cigars between your teeth.

Last Updated: January 13, 2010

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