Massage of masticatory muscles
The massage of masticatory muscles alleviates pain in the head and jaw area. Grinding your teeth at night and tension in the masticatory muscles during the day can cause pain in the head and jaw area. If you grind your teeth heavily at night (bruxism), your jaw will feel sore and painful especially in the morning.
Bruxism can also cause dizziness, earache and tension and pain in the shoulder area. Mild bruxism and tension in the masticatory muscles is very common. Approximately 5–10% of adults experience severe bruxism and its consequences.
Massage of masticatory muscles can alleviate pain
The massage of masticatory muscles can relax the muscles and alleviate the pain. If the tension can be released, it is easier to make the masticatory muscles permanently relaxed through exercises. Manipulating the muscles in the head and mouth also makes it easier to produce sounds and breathe. The massage makes you feel completely relaxed.
Massage of masticatory muscles can be performed by a trained dental hygienist or dentist. The treatment is always based on the customer’s individual situation and needs. In practice, the massage involves the manipulation of masticatory muscles from inside the mouth and on top of the head. It also involves the manipulation of the neck and shoulder area, skull base, head and facial area and, if necessary, the temporomandibular joint.
The treatment begins with massaging the muscles of the head and facial area. The massage of masticatory muscles is always gentle and involves small movements. Gloves are always worn when the muscles inside the mouth are manipulated. The most tense muscles are often inside the mouth. The massage helps the muscles relax and boosts the metabolism of the muscles.
Masticatory muscles can be kept relaxed through exercises
In most cases, alleviating the tension in the masticatory muscles requires more than one appointment. Dental hygienists and dentists who provide masticatory muscle massage services can assess your need for treatment. In most cases, 2–4 appointments are required and the treatment can continue with less frequent appointments. An assessment as to whether a mouth guard that alleviates tension and pain would be useful can also be performed at an appointment. A dental hygienist can refer you to a dentist, if necessary. The treatment plan involves instructions for home exercises to help you relax your masticatory muscles.
The expert consulted for the article was dental hygienist Enni Janhunen.
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