The jaw is one of the engineering masterpieces of the body, but it is often overlooked as a contributing source to head and neck problems. The jaw is a hidden piece in many pain causing puzzles for example in headaches, neck pain, ringing in the ear (tinnitus) and even in shoulder pain.
There are many things that you can do to keep your jaw in tip top shape:
Stop chewing gum, biting your nails or the lid of a pen. All these habits overwork the muscles in your jaw.
Soften your tongue within your mouth
Ensure you chew your food on both sides. It is common for us to have a ‘preferred’ side to eat on, without even knowing it. Start to become mindful of how you are eating and try to share the load between both sides.
Try not to clench your teeth- by doing this you are tightening your jaw muscles and harming your joints. Become mindful of when you do this and begin by ‘catching yourself’ until you stop completely. Discover and observe which situations cause you to clench your teeth and try to use alternative methods to cope with your stress, such as deep breathing.
Stretch your internal jaw muscles by placing the tip of your tongue at the top of the back of your palate and gently and slowly stretch your mouth open as wide as possible on a regular basis.