Keep open and slide. This is due to dysfunction of the temporal mandibular joint just below the ear. The cartilage catches on the other side of the joint and clicks as the joint moves. Sometimes the cartilage catches the other side and the jaw locks. If this starts to happen, do not try to close the morth - but keep it open, rock the joint from side to side and yawn and usually the jaw will snap into place.
Jaw locks. Take some advil, Motrin or aleve (naproxen) if you can, use moist hot compresses on the outside of your face next to your jaw joint and call your dentist (or a dentist who has experience and knowledge) to evaluate you for conservative treatment for tmjoint problems. Stay on soft foods and do not chew gum.
Find out cause. To treat the problem requires diagnosing the cause of your disc displacement. Most TMJoint treatment is palliative, makes you feel better without addressing the cause. If cause can be defined, appropriate treatment can be instituted. Start with your Dentist. If he/she feels referrals are necessary, don't blow it off.
TMJ expert. When your jaw is locking, it signifies advanced displacement of your TMJ (jaw joint) disk. See a TMJ expert for advice. Any dentist can be a TMJ expert with the proper training and experience. Most commonly, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and orofacial pain specialists. Ask your MD, your dentist and your dental society for referrals.
Jaw locking up. If your jaw is locking closed, it generally means that the disc in the jaw joint may be displaced. If your jaw is locking open, that means that the jaw is itself becoming dislocated, which is much less common. For a closed lock that fails to respond to simple measures, it has been shown through many studies that the most effective treatment is TMJ arthrocentesis or arthroscopy, to unlock the jaw. Read more...
See your Dentist. Important to determine cause of joint dysfunction that has caused disc displacement. Depending on cause you may need thermal therapy, medications, occlusal orthotic, orthodontic tooth movement, occlusal adjustment, joint or jaw surgery, or other treatment modalities. Start with your Dentist. Read more...