What is Intra- Oral massage?

What is Intra-Oral Massage?


Having someone massage the inside of your mouth is probably not something that has crossed your mind.  I know I didn’t know about Intra-oral Massage until I began school for Massage Therapy.  So why am I talking about this? Well I have been talking more and more about this type of work with clients recently.  Many have been coming in with symptoms such as clicking/popping of the jaw, headaches (upon waking), ringing in the ears and/or lock jaw (both closed and open).  My first question is always “Do you clench or grind your teeth?” The response is usually ‘yes’.  I then begin to explain the benefits of Massage Therapy when focused around the muscles of mastication (muscles that help us to chew our food). I find that many are hesitant to embark on such a treatment. It seems out of the ‘norm’.  However, it is a very effective way to decrease symptoms of pain, joint clicking and increase range of motion and circulation to the muscle tissue. Many of my clients have seen tremendous results with this treatment.


Here is a detailed view of some of the muscles involved and that affect the Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ); 



Over the years, I have developed chronic issues within the jaw.  This has come about from years of clenching my teeth.  I have been to the dentist many times for chipped teeth, inflaming the ligament around the tooth and for many mouth guards.  So Intra-oral Massage has been very beneficial for me over the years.


Did you know that our RMT’s are trained in giving Intra-oral Massage? We learn all about the Muscles of Mastication, their action, attachment sites and their Trigger Point referral patterns. It’s a treatment that requires patience and good communication. Because it is difficult to talk during a treatment, I ask clients to answer me/make me aware of pressure through hand gestures, or a humming-type “yes/no”. As uncomfortable as it may be, every single one of my clients has felt and seen an immediate relief. Typically, a treatment can involve the upper back, neck, face and inside the mouth. I like to recommend at least a 45 minute treatment session, but ideally 1 hour is the most effective.


Along with Massage Therapy treatments, other health care modalities can help in managing/resolving problems associated with this very common issue. Much of our jaw clenching/grinding issues can stem from;


  • stress, anxiety
  • dealing with chronic pain in other areas of the body
  • excessive gum chewing
  • poor posture in the neck/upper back
  • injuries to the jaw (ie/car accidents)
  • various forms of arthritis


Much of our clinicians have their own magical way of helping you here at Lead! Whether it’s seeing the RMT’s for Massage Therapy, Dr. Mackenzie for adjustments on the joint(s), Dr. Langille for Acupuncture, Nicole for Physical Therapy, you have a great assortment of health care professionals at your disposable.  If you are curious, don’t be shy! Please feel free to ask us anything about Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) issues.


Go to our online booking site: http://leadpilates.com/massage/


In the spirit of healing,


Kara Daniels, RMT