The Tongue Trick That Can Relieve Even The Most Stubborn Headache Pain

Headaches are inevitable in our lives, and they stem from many causes. Too much stress can cause throbbing in your temples, and your diet can also be the source of a headache. Muscle tension or straining your neck and back from poor posture can trigger a headache. Sometimes a headache can result from tension in your jaw, according to the Better Health Channel.

You clench your jaw for many reasons, such as when you're under stress or lifting heavy weights, per Active Health KC. The masseter and temporalis are two muscles that work to close your jaw. A strained masseter might feel like an earache or sinus headache, while a strain in your temporalis could bring pain on the side of your head near your temples.

While you might not notice you're clenching your jaw, see what it feels like when your jaw is relaxed. With your lips closed and your teeth slightly apart, take the tip of your tongue and lightly touch the place where the back of your upper teeth meet your gums.

Other exercises to release jaw tension

A complementary exercise is to work the muscles that open your jaw. Once your jaw is in a relaxed position, try to open your mouth while keeping your tongue on the inside of your front teeth. You should feel a pull underneath your tongue. Hold for a few seconds, then repeat 10 times. Try to do this up to six times a day. It helps to do this a few times a day to release the tension in your jaw, so set a reminder on your phone or watch to do this relaxation exercise.

Another exercise is one you can do just after you brush your teeth twice a day, according to the Camberwell Osteopathic Clinic. Using your middle fingers, trace the line at the top of your jaw until you find a hollow just in front and below your ears. It might feel tender there. While keeping your tongue at the back of your front teeth, press gently into this hollow as you slowly open and close your mouth. Repeat 10 times.

Resolving jaw-related headaches

According to Healthline, you might not be able to differentiate a TMJ headache from a typical headache. Sometimes grinding your teeth at night could cause a TMJ-related headache. Avoiding food that's difficult to chew can take some of the added tension off your jaw. Yes, that includes chewing gum.

Even if you're not aware of your jaw tension, take moments throughout the day to notice if you're clenching your jaw (via 209 NYC Dental). Recognize how you might unconsciously be using your jaw muscles when you're stressed, such as nibbling on a pen or chomping on ice. Exercising during the day can ease some of the stress that might cause your jaw tension, and having a nighttime relaxation ritual such as a warm bath can take some tension out of your body. Lastly, investing in a good mouth guard can reduce the grinding of your teeth that might trigger your daytime headaches.