Acute TMJ Closed Lock

This usually occurs after the jaw joints have been popping and clicking for some time. Without any warning, the mouth becomes stuck closed. For some patients this may occur after episodes of quick locking and unlocking by habit maneuvering, but this one time the mouth is stuck closed for good. Efforts to open the mouth may bring on pain, but not always. We are often able to recapture the TMJ disc for patients that see us within a week after the first incident that the mouth/lower jaw is stuck closed. The longer one waits, the more the TMJ disc will deform and find itself stuck or adhered to the new position. Chronic TMJ closed lock is the result. When this happens, it is much more difficult for the TMJ disc to be recaptured. If severe pain is associated with this condition, expensive treatment or ultimately TMJ surgery may be needed to resolve the pain with some limited mouth opening.