How To Make Your Jaw More Comfortable Before A Dentist Visit

Posted on: 23 March 2017

If you have a stiff jaw or a disorder that makes your jaw less flexible, like temporomandibular joint disorder, the idea of visiting the dentist can be a daunting one. However, it's still a necessity to go, so the best thing you can do is to make it easier to have your mouth open wide for a long period of time. Here are some ways you make it easier on your jaw while you're visiting the dentist.

Gentle Stretches

Like every other joint in the body, the temporomandibular joint is controlled by muscles. If those muscles become tight, tense, or are underused, it can be difficult or painful to open your mouth wide. One of the best ways to resolve this problem is to gently stretch your jaw for a few days prior to visiting your dentist. In time, these stretches will help to make it easier to open your jaw wider and with less discomfort.


If the muscles in your jaw are tense or the joint is experiencing inflammation, massage can be a helpful tool. In some instances, jaw muscle tension can even stretch down into the neck, so getting help from a professional is a good idea. However, even gentle self-massage at the temporomandibular joint can help to loosen things up and make a visit to the dentist easier.

OTC Pain Relievers

Another good idea is to use an over the counter pain reliever prior to your dentist visit. If you have a lot of muscle pain, starting to use them while you're performing self-massage and stretches is also a good idea. These three things combined can help to loosen up the muscles more effectively and reduce inflammation so that the body can begin to heal.

Make sure to take your pain reliever prior to your dentist visit. If you wait until you're at the office, it could take a while for the pill to digest and get into your system. Taking it in advance means that the pain relief will already be in your bloodstream when you need it.


Lastly, make sure to communicate with your dentist. Dentists understand that not everyone can hold their mouth open for a prolonged time, and many jaw disorders that cause pain exist. By communicating your problem with your dentist, they will allow you multiple rest periods so you don't have to be in a great deal of pain.

In addition, your dentist may have a device on-hand like a bite block or external mouth rest to help make it easier on your jaw. This will take some of the pressure off of your muscles and temporomandibular joint, making it easier to have your mouth open for a prolonged time.