Let’s discuss jaw problems.
I am currently treating my 13 yr old for a locking jaw. She wakes in the morning and can’t open all the way. When she eats, she first needs to move her jaw sideways to click it into place so she can chew.
I will explain what is happening here. Your jaw joint, the temporomandibular joint (or TMJ), is the only joint of its kind in the body. It has a ball at the top of the jawbone sliding against the socket inside the skull. However, between the two is a squishy disc that the bone rides on. It is this disc that makes a pop or click when it gets out of place.
My daughter has an overbite and the top front teeth hold her jaw back. As is grows larger, the jaw puts more and more pressure on the front teeth and on the jaw joint. This forces the disc out of position and it slides in front of the ball. If it doesn’t pop back into place, it prevents the jaw from opening all the way and creates your “locked” jaw.
Often the jaw will click or pop for many months before the disc becomes stuck, so it is important to have the problem evaluated as soon as possible so this can be prevented.
There are various ways we can help with bite guards, aligners, or we may recommend orthodontics. Please come in and we can evaluate your problem.