TMJ Guide

What Is A Locked Jaw?
Discover The Symptoms And Cure

Problem or limitation in jaw movements is referred to as ‘Locked Jaw’ syndrome. This condition can present many types of discomfort and pain to an individual.


Symptoms of locked jaw


An individual with locked jaw will find it difficult to perform the normal functions of the mouth like opening and closing of mouth, chewing of food, swallowing food or even yawning.


Typically, the jaw seems to lose its mobility at some point while opening or closing the mouth. Therefore the term ‘locked jaw’ to refer to this condition.


This condition is often accompanied by pain and discomfort during the process of movement of mouth or other painful conditions such as headaches and facial or neck pain.


TMJ and locked jaw


Locked jaw syndrome is a result of a dysfunction of the Temporal Mandibular Joint located at the base of the skull. This joint connects the temporal bone to the mandible – the lower jaw bone. Usually, a bad occlusal / bite problem or a chronic habit like teeth grinding and (or) teeth clenching can lead to a TMJ disorder and subsequently cause a locked jaw syndrome. Other causes of locked jaw can range from stress to clinical conditions such as arthritis or an injury to the head or directly to the jaw.


TMJ and locked jaw symptom relief


The first step to finding relief from locked jaw or TMJ is to get a correct diagnosis done through an examination at the physician’s place. Knowing the root cause of locked jaw and TMJ is a primary step to getting on to the right course of treatment.


Before going in for medications or surgical corrections a few self help remedies can be tried – and these usually are enough to initiate reversal of locked jaw syndrome. Such measures can include stress reduction – one of the major causes of TMJ related disorders; simple exercises to release the tension in the jaw regions are extremely effective in getting relief from TMJ and locked jaw; sleeping postures can aid in the process of reducing the occurrence of locked jaw; keeping track of dietary intake – for example, eating nutritious food and restricting to soft foods until the locked jaw is resolved can also go a long way in gaining relief from the painful condition. A warm compress prior to sleep times will also ensure that the muscles around the jaw are relaxed enough to allow for a peaceful sleep and a less strenuous day time.


A holistic and multi disciplinary approach to gaining core strength in health can allow for speedy relief from TMJ and locked jaw.


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