What are the differences between the “N” stretch and “N” position?

“N” stretch exercise is different from the “N” position. As the name indicate, “N” stretch is an exercise that stretches your closing masticatory muscles. This self-management exercise is recommended to manage several TMD conditions, include limited mouth opening and muscle tenderness. It is best to be performed after thermal therapy (see thermal therapy). On the other hand, the “N” position is a technique used to keep space between the upper and lower teeth to avoid day clenching, which could help reduce muscle tension and promote muscle relaxation.

“N” Position

  • Place the tip of your tongue up against the roof of your mouth behind your anterior teeth.
  • The tongue is in the position as if you were saying the letter “N.”
  • The teeth are slightly apart, and the lips are barely touching.

Keep this position as much as possible during the day

The tip of the tongue rests in the anterior palate, and the teeth and lips are barely touching.
“N” Stretch. The tongue stays in contact with the palate as the mouth is opening.

“N” Stretching

  • Place the tip of your tongue in the “N” position described above.
  • Stretch the jaw in a straight line without dropping the tongue (about 2 inches).
  • Hold for 6- seconds.
  • Relax the jaw and do not touch teeth when closing.
  • Repeat this exercise 6 times. This should be done 6 times a day (approximately every 2 hours).
  • The total time and repetition for the exercise per day will be as follows: (6 seconds X repetitions X 6 times per day).

Repeat this stretching every two hours.