What Causes Your Locked Jaw and How You Can Treat It

Getting a locked jaw can be extremely painful, but what exactly causes it? Learn all about the causes and treatment options here.

Your jaw is under attack! 5%-12% of Americans experience problems with their jaw. This includes a locked jaw, which can make it impossible to eat or drink without pain.

If you have a locked jaw, you shouldn’t panic. All you need to do is figure out what the cause of your condition is and get help from professionals. However, there are a few things that can cause a locked jaw.

What are the most common causes of locked jaws? What symptoms could you experience besides pain and difficulty eating? What treatments can you pursue? Is there a jaw exercise that can help?

Answer these questions and you can have a healthy jaw in no time. Here is your quick guide.


Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is a hinging joint that connects your jaw to your temporal bone. This joint can get strained or torn, causing your jaw to lock. If you are experiencing pain from this, then it might be a good idea to visit a specialist TMJ in Cave Creek, AZ (or one nearer where you live). They will be able to help find the cause of the problem and get you on the path to recovery.

Get help so you can correct the defect in your joint. Look online and compare this TMJ specialist to others before you hire someone. You may need surgery or an injection so your jaw becomes unlocked.

Arthritis is a condition that affects your TMJ. If you have arthritis, you need to treat the underlying condition before you get your TMJ fixed. You may need to take medications to control your immune system if you have rheumatoid arthritis.

Teeth Grinding

Many people grind their teeth in their sleep by accident. When they wake up, they may experience a jaw ache and issues with their jaw muscles. You may also grind your teeth when you are awake due to stress or misalignments in your teeth.

Wearing a retainer can keep you from grinding your teeth together. Facial relaxation can help you ease muscles in your neck and jaw, discouraging you from grinding your teeth.

If your teeth are misaligned, you may need surgery in order to correct them. You can also wear braces to slowly bring your teeth into a straight line.


Some people respond to stress by clenching their jaws. It is okay to clench your jaw a little bit, but clenching it too hard can strain your muscles and lock your jaws in place.

Try to respond to stress in another way. You can talk to someone about what you are going through, or you can snap a rubber band around your wrist.

The Causes and Treatments of a Locked Jaw

A locked jaw doesn’t have to devastate you. A TMJ problem can cause extreme pain and difficulty moving your jaw in any way. But you can visit your doctor and get an injection to free your TMJ.

You may grind your teeth together, causing your jaw muscles to break down. Wearing a retainer can keep your mouth open and prevent any grinding. Stress can encourage you to clench your muscles, so try to relax whenever you feel anxious.

You can handle your jaw pain once you have the facts. Read guides to pain relief by following our coverage.

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