Locked Jaw

One of many symptoms of Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is lockjaw.  This condition causes swelling, pain and dysfunction.  The result of inflammation causes the jaw to feel “locked” due to muscle spasms and inflammation.  A jaw can be locked open or closed.  If the complaint is the jaw cannot be open more than a few millimeters it is said to be locked closed.  If the complaint is that the teeth cannot come together is is said to be locked open.

Causes of Lockjaw:

  • Bruxism (teeth grinding/clenching)
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Stress
  • Too much chewing
  • Opening too wide (yawning, singing, etc)
  • Impact to the head, neck and/or face
  • Arthritis