Many people suffer with jaw joint (TMJ) problems; sometimes some simple advice is helpful.

Don't bite your fingernails
Never bite your lower lip
Avoid biting on your front teeth
Keep your upper & lower teeth apart when you are at rest.

It may help to carry out the exercise below, which will strengthen the muscles that pull the lower jaw backwards. This in turn will relax the muscles that close the mouth and will prevent from functioning those muscles that pull the jaw forward and to one side. The jaw joint will act more as a hinge and this will take the strain off it.

Firstly chose a relaxed time in the day to carry out the exercise then............

1. Close your mouth on your back teeth, resting the tip of your tongue on the roof of the mouth just behind the front teeth.
2. Run the tip of the tongue backwards along the roof as far back as it will go, still biting.
3. Holding the tongue in this place slowly open your mouth until the tongue is just pulled away from the roof. Do not open further. Hold this position for five seconds then close your mouth and relax.
4. Repeat this exercise over the next five minutes in a firm relaxed manner.
As you open your mouth you should feel tension in the muscles at the back of your jaw and beneath your chin. For the first few times you do the exercise you should check in front of a mirror that the lower teeth move vertically. Sometimes your pain may seem worse but this is because of the unaccustomed exercise. If the exercise is being carried out correctly, there will be no clicks or noise from the joints.

One other thing; Yawning can put quite a strain on the TMJ, when you feel the urge to yawn. Drop your chin down onto your chest first; this will limit the jaw opening!