Jaw tension can be uncomfortable and painful, but did you know that tension in the jaws can be a sign of stress, anger or repressed emotions?
Symptoms of jaw tension
- Frequent headache (especially when you wake up)
- Tension and pain in neck and shoulders
- Nausea, dizziness
- Pain in the face
- Tinnitus / tinnitus
- Plug, click or pain in the ears
- Tension and soreness in the cheeks, tongue and throat
- Sore teeth
- Clicking jaw joint
- Difficulty breathing
- Disturbed night sleep
How to get rid of jaw tension
The jaw muscles are – in relation to their size – actually some of the body’s strongest muscles. And even if they don’t seem like much, then the powerful jaw muscles can reveal a lot about how we feel. Jaw tension is one of the body’s many automatic reactions: the involuntary and unconscious reactions to what is happening in our lives.
You’ve probably heard the term “biting your teeth together” and it’s not for nothing. It is with the jaws that we try to hold on to everything, and although there can easily be physical causes for your jaw tensions such as dental problems, neck injuries or incorrect head position, jaw tensions are often seen in a body that is acutely stressed or has been stressed for an extended period of time.
Problems with pain and tension in the jaws are often associated with holding a desire or need for control. In some cases, jaw tension and pain in the jaws can be signs of frustration or anxiety as a result of anger and repressed emotions. Accumulated and repressed emotions can also set in as tensions in the jaw muscles, which are literally used to keep the mouth closed. For example, if you are the type who often bites things in you instead of reacting and putting your feelings into words, it can actually result in jaw tension.
4 easy exercises that relieve the jaws
With these small simple exercises, you can work on minimising the tensions in the jaws. Since it is literally about letting go mentally, you may experience a reaction such as anger, anxiety, stress or sadness. It takes approx. 5-10 minutes to do all four exercises – spend at least one minute on each exercise. You can sit or stand, but it can be a good idea to lie down so you can relax completely. When performing the exercises, it is important that you think about loosening the tensions in your jaws.
- Let your fingers massage into the area around the jaws, which are just in front of the earlobes. Press and massage in straight strokes or small circles. Feel free to come all the way down to the chin and lower jaw. Also, gap as high as you can and rock the lower jaw with your fingers loosely from side to side while completely relaxing in it.
- Grasp your ears on both sides and gently pull your ears away from each other. Pull in different directions where you change grips on the ears once in a while. It can feel as if you have an elastic band between your ears and through your head.
- Let your hands wander up to the hair and stroke with firm fingers through the scalp. Also, grab the hairs in different places and pull on the hair. As if the scalp is almost lifting.
- Now you need to start with the tongue, which you alternately press out into one and the other cheek. As if you were to stretch your cheek elastically out with your tongue. Then you run your tongue around the inside of your lips as if you are washing your teeth with your tongue. First one way, then the other way.
Stresses the entire body
In general, if you are very tense in one place in the body, it leads to tension in the rest of the body. This also applies to jaw tensions. Tensions in the jaws can result in an overload of muscles, nerve tissue and the joints that affect the movements of the jaw. It can give i.e. headache and tension in the shoulder and neck.
Jaw tension can even cause difficulty breathing and in general, restrict blood circulation to the head, disrupt the energy in your body and even cause nausea, vision and ear problems. Whatever the cause of your jaw tension, relaxation exercises can be a help in releasing the tension. However, if you experience that the tension comes again and again, despite exercises and perhaps treatments, it can be good to see if it is a message from the body that something in your everyday life needs adjustment.