This exercise should be carried out sitting in an erect posture in front of the mirror. It should be performed before meals and at bedtime, ie, four times a day. Once you are used to the exercise you can stop using the mirror and carry out the exercise as often as possible.
With the mouth closed and the teeth lightly touching, place your tongue on the roof of your mouth as far back as possible.
You will feel tension in the muscles at the base of the tongue, below the chin and in front of your ears, ie, over the jaw joints.
Open your jaw, keeping your tongue touching the roof of your mouth.
Using your thumb, apply gentle pressure to the jaw on. The aim is to have the jaw muscles “resist” the thumb to provide build strength statically, without over-opening.
DO carry out these exercises for approximately six weeks to achieve maximum benefit. After this, you can archive these exercises and perform them for 3 weeks at a time as required.
DO apply a heat pack for 15 minutes before and after if required. Also consider an anti-inflammatory such as ibuprofen, especially during initial training time if you experience exercise-related muscle soreness.
During the initial training time, you should be careful with the type of food you eat. Try to eat soft foods that do not require a lot of chewing. Cut larger food items into smaller pieces to avoid straining the jaw. Please avoid chewing gum.
You may be advised to avoid certain postures, ie, leaning on your arm with your hand under your chin. You may be given general posture advice.
On review, other options can be explored if the problem persists, for example, wearing a night time guard for grinding or muscle relaxing injections.