Intraoral Massage is massage of the muscles and soft tissue structures in and around the mouth and jaw. In the state of Washington, massage therapists' scope of practice does not include massage of any body orifices. The one exception is the mouth, but additional training and certification (called the Intraoral Endorsement) is required. Fortunately, I (Jesse) am fully certified for intraoral massage.
Why would I want massage inside my mouth?
The most common reason for intraoral massage is for treating injury or dysfunction of the temporal-mandibular joint (TMJ) - that's the hinge part that flaps your jaw up and down when you chew or talk. TMJD: Temporal-Mandiublar Joint Dysfunction, is usually experienced as pain, restricted movement, or clicking in the jaw when chewing.
Some other conditions treated with intraoral massage include:
- Bruxism: the tendency to clench one's jaw and grind one's teeth, usually while sleeping, and to the detriment to the health of the teeth. Often caused by tightness of the jaw muscles.
- Migraines: Some migraines are caused by pressure on the sphenoid bone, which is one of the bones that makes up your skull and is found in the upper reaches of the back of your oral cavity (yes, your skull is made up of several bones fused together - crazy, right?). Massaging the muscles of the skull and jaw can help reduce pressure on the sphenoid bone.
- Whiplash: We all know that whiplash damages the muscles of the cervical spine (that's the part of your spine between your skull and your ribs, commonly called the neck). But it can also cause strain on the muscles and soft tissues of the throat and jaw.
Is it safe?
Absolutely. Massage is a very conservative, non-invasive treatment, and intraoral massage is no different (other than being a bit more, shall we say, in your face). Intraoral massage procedure includes the use of non-latex (because latex allergies are common) gloves or finger cots (which are like a rubber glove for just one finger).
How much does it cost?
There is no additional charge for intraoral massage. If you feel you have an issue for which intraoral massage may be appropriate, just ask about it and your th