Did you know your jaw is capable of using immense force? It has the ability to exert up to 125kg of power in just one bite alone! The pressure of your front teeth and back molars can do wonders. But what are you supposed to do if your jaw keeps locking?
For instance, have you ever woken up in the morning with a super sore jaw, unable to open your mouth? Or perhaps, after a day of rest and not using your mouth a lot, you go to open it, only to hear a popping sound, with your jaw completely frozen.
So, why does this happen? Why does your jaw keep locking and popping? To find out, keep on reading this blog.
Why Does My Jaw Keep Locking?
The main reason your jaw locks is because of Lockjaw, which is a type of Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) disorder.
TMJ refers to your temporomandibular joint, which is the main joint that connects your lower jaw to the skull. Each side of your mouth has this joint. So, in a way, temporomandibular joints act as the hinge, allowing your mouth to open and close freely. Thus, when one joint stops functioning properly, it can cause a series of problems.
There isn’t only one reason behind a TMJ disorder. Many acts can lead to an irregular jaw joint. For instance, it can be caused by, but is not limited to:
- Jaw exercises
- Clenching your jaw really tight
- Biting the inside of your lips and cheeks
- Grinding or gnashing your teeth
- Hereditary condition
- Constantly chewing gum
- Jaw injuries or facial trauma
- Sleep apnea
- Over or Underbite
Is Jaw Locking Serious?
Despite the wave of fear overtaking you, don’t worry. Lockjaw isn’t fatal. This means that you won’t die from it. However, it’s still serious and can cause quite a lot of pain.
Either way, if your jaw keeps locking on one side when you eat or after every few minutes, it’s best to consult a TMJ specialist. So, even if you don’t have a serious jaw issue, you’ll still be referred to the right treatment, easing any pain that there may be.
How Do I Stop My Jaw From Locking?
It’s not easy to constantly deal with a jaw that keeps clicking, locking, or popping. Not to mention, leaving it as it is can, at times, worsen the condition, leading to severe pain and long-term side effects.
That is precisely why you should get it checked out. A professional TMJ specialist will guide you on what to do and how to lessen the pain.
Nevertheless, here are some exercises and practices you can try to keep your jaw from locking over and over again.
- Avoid chewing a lot of gum.
- Don’t clench your jaw. Relax it.
- Fix your posture and make it a habit to sit upright.
- Avoid eating hard or crunchy foods that can dislocate your jaw.
- Take note of how often your jaw locks or pops.
- Visit a professional for an in-depth evaluation.
- Get a mouthguard.
What’s The Takeaway?
Lastly, just keep in mind that if you have to continuously ask yourself, ‘why does my jaw keep locking?’ Perhaps it’s best to let an expert take a look at it.
For more information or to schedule an appointment, reach out to Vintage Oral Surgery at (281) 800 8852. You can also drop by our dental office for an in-person evaluation at 11620 Louetta Rd B, Houston, TX 77070. It’s right along the stretch of Lakewood Court Center.