Have you ever experienced an inability to open your jaw? What about an inability to close your jaw? If so, you might have asked yourself, why does my jaw lock? Frightened and nervous, you rushed to Google, typing “how to unlock your jaw” into the search engine.
Unfortunately, a locked jaw is a shocking, scary experience that not many people suffer from. Many people confuse jaw lock with lockjaw, a more common symptom of TMJ. Actually, muscle spasms cause lockjaw (trismus) while joint dislocation causes a locked jaw. Our dentist fixes all symptoms related to TMJ at My Hills Dentist in Baulkham Hills, NSW.
Why Does Your Jaw Lock?
A locked jaw is one of the many symptoms of temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ). Most TMJ patients experience jaw pain, tinnitus, and headaches. Very few people suffer from the unexpected and nerve-racking experience of a locked jaw. That’s why you need a cosmetic dentistry specialist when you experience jaw lock.
When your jaw works correctly, the smooth movements come from your two temporomandibular joints, one on either side. These joints have a wide range of motion, moving side to side, up and down, and back and forth. In between the two joint bones sits the articular disc, a disc of cartilage to enable smooth movements.
Some TMJ patients experience clicking and popping when this disc moves. These noises mean that the disc is shifting but then your ligament snaps the disc back into place. When your ligament cannot snap the disc back into place, you experience a locked jaw. Your jaw locks open or closed because that disc is what enables movement in your joints.
How To Unlock Your Jaw
When you experience a locked jaw, your first step is to try to relax. We know that it is a frightening experience when your jaw locks. However, stress and anxiety can actually create more tension in your jaw.
First, you must calm down. Practice meditation by breathing in for four seconds, holding for four seconds, breathing out for four seconds, and holding again. Try repeating this process for a few rounds, breathing in and out of your nose. Next, apply heat to your jaw and try to slowly wiggle it back and forth. Sometimes, your locked jaw will pop back into place itself. And that’s how to unlock your jaw at home!
Though we encourage gentle wiggles, don’t ever force your jaw back into place. Much like adding extra tension, this will only cause more problems. After you experience a locked jaw, it’s imperative that you make a dentist appointment with us immediately. Even if you get your jaw to unlock on your own, this is a serious issue that could happen again. If you have a locked jaw, your damaged articular disc needs treatment immediately to regain jaw function and relieve pain.
Visit My Hills Dentist
If you suffer from a locked jaw in Baulkham Hills, NSW, you need a cosmetic dentistry specialist. He has the most advanced technology on the market for TMJ treatments. Call My Hills Dentist at (02) 9686 7375 or make an appointment online.