Numerous medical conditions and improper movement, while you’re sleeping, chewing, yawning, or talking, can lead to a painful and frightening condition known as a locked jaw. It occurs when the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) locks, preventing you from opening and closing your jaw in any capacity. This leads to it becoming misaligned, preventing further jaw movement, range of motion, and getting stuck.
You will not be able to open it fully until it slips back into its proper position within the joint. If you stay “locked” too long, you may never be able to unlock it again.
DIY: How to Unlock Your Jaw On One Side Or Both
Relaxation Technique: When faced with a locked jaw, it is essential to remain as calm and relaxed as possible. Anxiety and panic can cause your jaw muscles to contract, making it difficult for your jaw to slide back into its proper position. Take a few deep breaths, close your eyes, and remember that if you’re unable to unlock your jaw on your own, your TMJ dentist can help you.
Warm Compress: Once your muscles have begun to relax, apply a warm compress to your jaw joints for approximately 10-15 minutes. The warmth will provide further relaxation to the muscles.
Gentle Pressure Application: With gentle and careful pressure, place your palms on both sides of your jaw joints and apply slight pressure. Gradually move your jaw from side to side. It is important not to exert excessive force during this process.
If Your Jaw Doesn’t Unlock, Avoid Forcing It! Consult us at Today’s Dentistry
There may be instances where you are unable to maneuver your jaw joint back into its proper position independently.
If the above methods fail to work, it is crucial to seek medical assistance. Trying to forcefully unlock your jaw can lead to further damage to the joint, increasing the likelihood of it slipping out of place, causing pain, and becoming locked again. When in doubt, it is advisable to get a consultation with someone who knows how to help you unlock your jaw joint safely
Even if you successfully unlock your jaw, it will pop and may continue to get locked. Through TMJ treatment, you can ensure that your jaw rests in a healthy position, alleviating discomfort and minimizing the risk of experiencing a locked jaw in the future.
Next Steps After Lockjaw
Receive TMJ Treatment to address your locked jaw caused by TMJ disorder, the next course of action is to seek treatment to align your jaw joint and allow your muscles and tendons to heal. The specific TMJ treatment will vary depending on the severity of your condition.
Sometimes an orthotic device is made to maintain the correct positioning of your jaw. Depending on your situation it may be worn during the day, during the night, and sometimes during both the day and night. Over time, this helps train your jaw to maintain its proper alignment. Some individuals opt for further treatment to permanently correct their jaw position through dental procedures.
As the final step in your TMJ treatment journey, you have the option to undergo dental procedures to achieve permanent correction of your jaw position. This may involve orthodontic treatment, dental implants, partial dentures, or the placement of crowns to restore your teeth and realign your jaw. The specific procedures required will depend on the condition of your jaw and teeth, emphasizing the customized nature of the treatment.
If you are someone you know needs help with a painful and or locked jaw, please give us a call or contact us.