Dental Problems

What is Locked Jaw Syndrome?

Locked JawLocked jaw syndrome is a disorder that is related to our jaw joint. It causes severe pain and sometimes cannot open the mouth. This articles describes of locked jaw syndrome.

What is Locked Jaw Syndrome?

There are two temporomandibular joint, one on each side. They connect the lower jaw called mandible to the skull, also known as temporal bone in front of our ear. The TMJ has bones, muscles, nerves and blood vessels. Our jawbone itself is controlled by the temporomandibular joint. Any misaligned biting motion while chewing the food may cause tension on the whole joint, resulting in severe pain (tense up) or locked muscle, some times making it difficult to even open the mouth.

Causes of Locked Jaw Syndrome

The common causes for the locked jaw are habits and aging, other include


It is the habit of grinding teeth, which leads to inflammatory reactions and muscle spasm. Other reasons include misalignment of the teeth, changes in normal stimuli, and in the chewing muscles. People who have the problem of teeth grinding disorder during night will have more effect on the joint.


While awake, some people continually clench or bite on things. These can be a pen or pencil, fingernails or even a chewing gum. Many times this can lead to a locked jaw.


Like all the other joints in our body, Temporomandibular joint is also prone to arthritic changes. Arthritic causes inflammation in the joints, thus affecting the TMJ. The changes, can also be due to normal aging, breakdown or degeneration of the joint.

Symptoms of Locked Jaw Syndrome

  • Swelling on the face and mouth on the effected side
  • Pain in the jaw joints and facial muscles. This may radiate to the shoulders and neck.
  • Causes ringing in the ear, ear pain and some times hearing loss.
  • You can here popping, clicking, grating sounds while the joints are moving.

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