Unless you have tetanus, your jaw’s tendency to lock up and remain immovable for several moments is likely caused by a dysfunction in your jaw’s joints, known as TMJs (temporomandibular joints). The open-and-close motion of your jaw hinges on these joints, and when they’re not working properly, neither will your bite’s function. If you experience a locked, painful, or popping jaw, then the only way to find relief from it may be with personalized TMJ treatment from your dentist.
The Formation of TMJ Disorder
Your TMJs and jaw muscles work in tandem to open and close your bite as needed. This movement relies on proper alignment of your teeth, jaws, and oral structures. Otherwise, one side of your jaw may be forced to work than the other, causing an imbalance of pressure among your teeth and TMJs. Over time, this imbalance can stress the joints so much that they become damaged or inflamed. In some cases, one or both joints may be forced out of socket, rendering your jaw unable to move.
How Your Dentist Can Relieve It
Because TMJ disorder often results from a bite imbalance, your dentist may have to recommend realigning it before you can correct your TMJ function. This may require orthodontic treatment for severe cases, but for many patients, it can be achieved with a custom-designed oral appliance that you can wear while you sleep. The appliance doesn’t forcefully realign your bite as with orthodontic treatment, but rather allows your jaw to rest in its natural, most comfortable position, allowing both of your TMJs to rest and heal.
Learn How to Treat Jaw Dysfunction
Locked jaw, popping jaw, and other forms of jaw discomfort are typically the cause of TMJ disorder. To learn how to treat your condition, schedule an appointment by calling Lathrop Dental Center in Katy, TX at 832-437-3849. We proudly welcome patients and families from Katy, Fulshear, Weston Lakes, Simonton, Richmond, Rosenberg, Brookshire, Wallis, Orchard, Cypress, Sealy, Columbus, and all surrounding communities.