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What To Expect When You Have A Mouth Massage

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Massage is often synonymous with treating a wide range of areas throughout the body (visit sites like for more information), but you might not ever think that your massage therapist may ask to work inside your mouth. However, if you're dealing with issues such as temporomandibular joint disorder, or TMJ, a massage inside your mouth may be needed to loosen the tight jaw muscles that are causing you pain. You might be surprised when your massage therapist asks if he or she can work inside your mouth, but this practice is perfectly normal and can often lead to successful results. Here are some things to expect during this type of massage.

You Can Ask For A Break

Just like going to the dentist for a checkup, you'll need to hold your mouth open for a long time during a mouth massage. Unlike the dentist, though, your massage therapist won't ask you to open as wide as you can — doing so can tighten the jaw muscles, so this practice would be counterproductive. Instead, the massage therapist will have you open your mouth just wide enough to slip his or her gloved fingers inside. If you do experience jaw fatigue, however, simply indicate that you need a break, and your practitioner will be happy to oblige.

It Won't Make You Gag

People who have a weak gag reflex may be concerned about having someone's fingers inside their mouth; it can be easy to think that this activity could make you gag. The chances of this issue, however, are slim. The massage therapist's touch will be extremely gentle, and he or she will direct the fingers to the inside of the jaw muscles, rather than near your throat. Try to breathe deeply to promote relaxation, as this may help to take your mind off the thought of gagging.

You May Be Given Lifestyle Suggestions

After your mouth massage, the practitioner may speak to you about things that could be contributing to your tight jaw, as well as make suggestions on things that you'll want to change. For example, the therapist may ask about your level of stress — if you're stressed to a high degree much of the time, one of the ways that your body may react is with a tight jaw. The therapist may then talk to you about some simple methods of lowering your stress level, such as breathing, yoga, or meditation, as these may contribute to a decrease in your jaw pain.