Let Natural Jaw Motion Conditioning and Training Fix Your Jaw Asymmetry.
Conservative muscle conditioning and training can let your own body diagnose and repair jaw asymmetry. This past year, I have found many videos that address jaw asymmetry. And what several of those videos show is an exercise whereby either a chopstick, ice cream stick or a pencil is placed horizontally between the teeth. I prefer the “ice cream stick” shape because it is flatter and gives me a more stable bite. Then you would gently bite down and slowly turn your head 90 degrees left, come back to center or looking forward, then turn 90 degrees right. Then you would slowly keep repeating this motion, perhaps doing it 10 or 15 times a day. The idea is to break bad asymmetrical habits, and condition your jaw into performing good asymmetrical habits, both at rest and in motion.
This simple “bite and turn” exercise is one of the best exercises I have seen that addresses the problem of jaw asymmetry. I like that the exercise uses natural jaw motion to train multiple facial muscles how to coordinate and work together naturally. On the other hand, exercises that strengthen and train one muscle at a time have only a slim chance of success in treating jaw asymmetry. For example, what good is a much stronger Masseter Muscle, if it does not know how to work in sync with with the other facial muscles? I believe the facial muscles need to be retrained gradually and to perform in coordination with each other (There are 43 facial muscles.)
Nerve damage is another possible cause for jaw asymmetry. It’s like having an electrical problem in your car….it would be very difficult to pinpoint the problem….and then try to fix it. Maybe a radiologist or oral surgeon can see the problem in an MRI, but how do you “see” or gravitate to that proper jaw motion? Again, I believe that “bite and turn” muscle conditioning and training would be most effective.
In summary, what I like most about “bite and turn” exercises, is that it is not always necessary to “see” the problem. The “bite and turn” exercises can allow your jaw and facial muscles a chance to locate and discover their own natural jaw motion.
A few closing comments. FIRST, I am NOT a doctor, dentist or physical therapist. I am simply doing research and discovery on my own and trying the suggested “bite and turn” exercises myself. SECOND, I am using a “Jaw Grading Bite Block” as my exercise tool. It is made of plastic, shaped like an ice cream stick, and is just a little bit thicker. THIRD, although “bite and turn” is a relatively conservative exercise, you should consult with your doctor, dentist or physical therapist before proceeding. If while doing the exercise, something hurts or doesn’t feel right then stop immediately. Perform the exercises gently and slowly. Most of the training videos I have seen do the exercises TOO FAST!! You don’t have to do it fast….THINK SLOW MOTION. Bite lightly….just enough to keep the Bite Block in place.
You can find many videos on YouTube that show exercises to treat facial and jaw asymmetry. Below is a link to an excellent one.