Why Does My Jaw Keep Locking? | The Truth Behind Lockjaw

Woman experiencing Jawlock

Your jaw is extremely powerful, exerting up to 125 kg or 275 lbs of force in a single bite, making your mouth extremely strong! But what happens when your jaw keeps locking? If you’ve been noticing that your jaw keeps locking, clicking, and popping every time you move your jaw, then you may be experiencing lockjaw or TMD. 

Why Does My Jaw Keep Locking? The Truth Behind Lockjaw

One of the main reasons your jaw keeps popping and clicking every time you move can be because of temporomandibular joint disorder. TMD refers to the temporomandibular joint, the main joint that attaches your lower jaw to your skill. This joint acts as a hinge, which allows the mouth to open and close freely. However, when this joint starts acting up, it can cause concern. 

TMD can be caused by many factors, as there isn’t any one origin or cause of this condition. Some factors that can play into TMD include: 

  • Arthritis: Some forms of arthritis, such as osteoarthritis, psoriatic arthritis, or rheumatoid arthritis, can cause TMD.
  • Jaw Clenching: If you find yourself clenching your jaw most of the time, then it can contribute to TMD. 
  • Teeth Grinding: Signs of teeth grinding include worn down teeth, sore jawline, and dry mouth, as it’s a habit that can lead to TMD. 
  • Sleep Apnea: If you have obstructive sleep apnea, then your jawline can shift into unusual positions, leading to TMD. 
  • Over or Underbites: if you have untreated malocclusions, such as underbites or overbites, then that increases the risk of TMD. 
  • Facial Trauma: Any previous sign of facial trauma can impact jaw movement and lead to TMD. 

Lockjaw isn’t a fatal condition, but it can be annoying and sometimes painful. Even if you don’t experience a serious jaw issue, it is recommended that you should receive treatment from a dentist or oral surgeon for your concerns. It can sometimes be difficult to deal with a jaw that locks and pops over time, and over time, TMD can lead to long-term side effects, including problems sleeping, eating, and speaking, if left untreated. 

Some ways you can protect yourself from lockjaw or TMD is to follow simple steps such as: 

  • Avoid chewing gum most of the time
  • Try focusing on releasing your clenched jaw
  • Avoid eating any hard candies or crunchy foods that can cause issues with your jawline
  • Make sure to sit upright to help improve your jawline posture
  • Receive a mouthguard from your dentist to protect your jawline during sports
  • Receive TMD treatment from a sleep apnea specialist, dentist, orthodontist, or oral surgeon. 

Visit Torrance Dental Associates For Lockjaw/TMD Treatment Today!

If you would like to learn more about treatments for Lockjaw or TMD, visit Torrance Dental Associates. At Torrance Dental Associates, Dr. Alireza Movassaghi and his team can provide effective dental services throughout the Torrance, CA area. Schedule an appointment today by calling (310) 327-4166 to learn more about our services, our treatment options, and our dedication to your dental care.

Alireza Movassaghi, D.D.S and Other Dentist Torrance Dental Associates is proud to be the home of Dr. Alireza Movassaghi, a USC School of Dentistry Graduate with 30 years of experience. His mission is to expand access to dental care throughout the Los Angeles area. When not engaged in providing expert dental care for his patients, he's taking in the latest soccer game and enjoying fine cars.
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