If you find relief while pressing on the mandible muscle, you may want to try a stretching TMJ massage to further the relief process and effectively "exercise" the muscles most responsible for TMJ disorders. This massage should be done with two thumbs, so you might ask a partner for help if you find that you lack the proper angle or dexterity when using both thumbs on one side of your face.
Start with two thumbs parallel to your jaw line, just above the mandible muscles. Press on this muscle as you drag your thumbs down against your jaw, slowly stretching the muscle away from your maxillary (upper jaw). You can also stretch and massage the mandible muscle by placing two fingers of one hand on the mandible and two fingers of the other hand on the masseter muscles. Press your fingers toward each other, until the tips of your fingers are in the line between both muscles. Hold them for a few seconds before relaxing.
Because jaw soreness can come from behavior that causes other dental issues too, always continue a daily oral hygiene routine, even when your jaw muscles don't feel well. You may find that a soft-bristled toothbrush such as Colgate® 360°® Toothbrush can avoid triggering teeth sensitivity if you grind your teeth at night.
TMJ pain can be a systemic problem if it doesn't go away. If you do notice you're sore or stiff for too long, see your dentist or doctor for treatment options, such as a mouth guard to stop nighttime grinding from taking its toll on your jaw. Treatment, paired with these TMJ massage techniques, can help you drop the pain and go back to a comfortable smile.