4 Causes Of Stiff Jaw Muscles And How To Overcome Them – Have you ever felt the tension and stiffness around your neck? The condition was caused by a tense jaw due to various things. Because the causes are many and different, how to overcome them is different. Let’s look at how to overcome a rigid jaw based on the trigger factor.
How to overcome a rigid jaw based on the cause
Stiff and tight jaws certainly make you feel uncomfortable. This condition sometimes causes pain with different types, such as aches, throbbing necks, to the pain that comes when chewing and yawning. To overcome this you can not be careless, given the different causes. Here are some of the causes and ways to overcome rigid jaws.
1. TMJ (jaw joint) disorders
TMJ or Temporomandibular joint is a jaw joint that functions to open and close your mouth. Joints that work together with ligament muscles work so that your mouth can chew, talk, and swallow. If there is a TMJ disorder, the problem will cause pain. The pain can be felt in the ears, jaw, and face, so that when moved you can feel pain and produce a ‘click’ sound.
Tips for dealing with TMJ disorders:
Normally, this disorder is temporary and only requires treatment at home. However, if the jaw is stiff due to TMJ to interfere with your activities, there are several treatments to overcome this condition.
- Painkillers and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen.
- Tricyclic antidepressant drugs that are included in depression medications. However, in low doses and doctor’s advice, you can use it to control pain.
- Muscle relaxants are usually used for several days or weeks so that the pain caused by TMJ can be reduced.
Apparently, experiencing stress can also affect the joints and muscles around your jaw. That is because when you are stressed, it unconsciously makes your jaw tense.
Tips to overcome jaw due to stress:
To overcome the rigid jaw due to stress, the way, of course, by doing things that can reduce the stress you have, such as:
- Meditation helps calm your mind.
- Writing what you feel can be a way to manage stress.
- Rest and if necessary vacation and take time off for a while.
- Start exercising regularly and changing your diet to be healthier
- Talking about problems that stress you out to those who want to listen to you, like friends and family.
Although the methods above do not seem to be related to stiff jaws, managing stress can actually reduce tension in the joints and muscles around the neck.
3. Bruxism (gritting teeth)
Bruxism or teeth-rattling is one of the conditions that result when you are stressed. In addition, the position of the upper teeth and lower teeth that are not normal can cause this condition.
Bruxism occurs unnoticed, such as when sleeping or walking. As a result, several symptoms appear that interfere with your jaw joints and muscles, such as:
- Stiff and tense jaw
- Ear, head, and neck hurt
- Jaws are locked and difficult to open or close the mouth perfectly
Tips for overcoming jaw due to bruxism
If this happens to you because you often clench your teeth, there are several ways you can do to overcome the rigid jaw due to bruxism, namely:
- Using protective gear designed to protect teeth from damage due to continuous grinding. Typically, this protector is
- made of hard or soft acrylic that matches the size of your upper and lower teeth.
- Reduce gum consumption because it makes you accustomed to grinding your teeth
- Take muscle relaxants to reduce muscle tension in your jaw.
One of the causes of a stiff jaw is tetanus. Tetanus is a condition when there is damage to the nervous system due to bacterial infection of Clostridium tetani which can also cause muscle contractions in the neck and jaw.
Tips for overcoming jaw due to tetanus:
Tetanus usually results from not cleaning the wound properly. Therefore, when your skin is opened by a wound, immediately clean it properly. If it’s too late, go to the nearest hospital immediately and consult this problem with your doctor.
There are a number of ways you might be able to help you cope with tetanus stiffness, such as:
- Wash the wound with soap and water, if necessary, use an antiseptic to make it cleaner.
- Consult a doctor
Another way to overcome rigid jaws
1. Exercise to open the jaw
So that the jaw is no longer stiff, you can try this exercise. Do open and close mouth movements as a warm-up.
Afterward, place your fingers under the front. Try to gently pull on your jaw until you feel uncomfortable. Hold that position for 30 seconds and release the grip of your fingers. Perform this movement three times.
2. Smile practice
Apparently, stretching the mouth with a smile can reduce stress on the facial muscles, upper and lower jaw, and neck.
You can do this exercise with a smile as much as possible that does not cause pain or pain in the face. Simultaneously, open your jaw as wide as 5 cm, inhale through your mouth, and dispose of it while smiling. Perform this movement 10 times.
3. Eat soft foods
When your jaw muscles are tense, you may find it more difficult to chew. Therefore, for the time being, make it a habit to consume soft foods to facilitate the process of chewing in the mouth, such as:
- Juices and smoothies
Actually, there are many ways to overcome rigid jaws. However, when you feel this condition affects your overall health, it is better if you consult your doctor first to get more appropriate treatment.