The medial pterygoid muscle is one of the muscles of mastication. When the medial pterygoid muscles work together (bilateral contraction) they help close your mouth and help your lower jaw jut forward. If just one of the medial pterygoid muscles contracts (unilateral contraction) they pull the jaw to the side. To get really good side to side motion (like what we think of when a cow eats) the lateral and medial pterygoid muscles from opposite sides of the jaw work together.
The medial pterygoid is easier to work on than the lateral pterygoid muscle but both are fairly uncomfortable and invasive to have worked on. However, if you are suffering from temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, it is well worth getting these muscles worked on. It is a less expensive option than many of the other treatments for TMJ and also a less invasive option than most.
Reasons to consider jaw muscle work:
- TMJ pain
- Your jaw doesn’t track smoothly when you open and close your jaw
- You get popping noises when you move your jaw
- You are getting tingling over your cheek