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TMJ – 104 Closed Lock

Category: TMJ Videos
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There are several symptoms of TMJ disorder such as discomfort in the jaw joint, a clicking as well as standing out jaw, frustrations, face discomfort, ringing of the ears, neck discomfort, and also back pain.

While there are many feasible reasons, one the key reasons is an unbalanced bite. This is the 4th of a collection of videos checking out the bite and how it affects the TemporoMandibular Joints (TMJ). signs and symptoms.

TMJ – 104 goes over the most severe dysfunction of the jaw joint, the dreaded closed lock. If you have restricted opening of your mouth, you need to see this video clip.

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Boca Nejra February 24, 2014 1:38:10

Hello Gregory and thanks for such a great video, I just understood what’s
been happening to me for the last few months. I’ve been going both to the
dentist and to a chiropractor but they don’t seem to be paying a lot ot
attention to this problem (lack of experience I guess). The chiropractor
only focuses on massaging and forcing my jaws (I get relief but only
temporary right after the treatment) but after watching your video I think
they should first recapture my disk, right? Otherwise we are forcing the
disk all the time and maybe smashing it. I’m a little bit worried by this
and the possible consequences. Any advice will be much appreciated. Thanks.

    Gregory Pucel June 3, 2014 14:51:15

    If you are off the disk that is correct. i would suggest consulting with a
    dentist that treats TMJ problems.

ESSBrew June 15, 2014 17:59:36

Is it possible to be in a closed lock and not even realize it? I can barley
fit two fingers in my open mouth, but I dont have pain or anything. Its
been like this for years and I do have an overbite.

    Gregory Pucel June 16, 2014 14:28:38

    More than possible. Probable.

Evan Brindisi June 16, 2014 18:21:32

Hey Gregory, what type of splint do you recommend? 

Kaushik Sundarajayaraman Venkat August 6, 2014 18:15:18

Hello doctor. Thanks for all your videos. I controlled my yawn several
times and have been altering my sleep cycles erratically for last 4 months
(night driving sometimes), sometimes staying awake for around 30 hrs.
Could this be the reason for the clicking noise? I’m just curios to know.

kimyc0623 August 24, 2014 20:25:01

Hi! Currently I can only open my jaw to 2 fingers and it hurts when I open
it more than that. I’ve been taking muscle relaxants and it has been about
a week since my jaw wouldn’t open. I really don’t know what to do and I
hope that it isnt severe 🙁 I’m only 16. Please help!!! 

    Gregory Pucel August 24, 2014 21:05:39

    You need to consult with a dentist that treats TMJ/facial pain.

Cameron C October 19, 2014 4:47:33

Ok, so I am 14 years of age and I seem to have this problem. This has been
going on for the past eight or so days. When I attempt to warn my parents
if the consequences of this, they think that I am over reacting. How do I
explain the effects and dangers of this condition? Also, this primarily
happens while I sleep, is there any kind of pillow or device that would
temporarily prevent this from happening?

Cameron C October 19, 2014 4:53:27

Also, every time I get a locked jaw, I go to my bed, elevate my head, and
wait for about 10-30 minutes and it just unlocks itself. Why is this?

Cameron C October 19, 2014 4:55:16

I’m sorry for the copious amounts of comments, but it also doesn’t hurt
near my tmj or in it. It also doesn’t hurt when my jaw gets locked.

wchan November 20, 2014 11:02:37

Dr Pucel,
I’ve had a locked jaw for a few months and I’m seeking treatment now — but
if the disc has already been damaged beyond recapture, does that mean I’m
stuck with the locked jaw forever because my jaw can’t translate?

Mayugecat December 21, 2014 8:37:50

Hi there, thank you so much for the informative video. I especially love
that jaw model; it’s so easy to understand the jaw functions through it.

I now understand tension should not be forced upon the disc or the jaw so
does that mean the “locked jaw exercises” that people recommend, are in
actuality aggravating and worsening the issue? (ie wearing down the disc)
These exercises include pushing each jaw inward (once at a time) while
applying jaw pressure in the opposite direction, and also opening the mouth
while adding pressure upward.
I’m afraid of continuing these exercises….my mouth does slightly open
more after I do them, but I feel like it only stretches and forces the
“translation” process, adds lot of tension to the disc and doesn’t trigger
the source of the problem?
Please correct me if I am wrong, thank you!

Brandon Streiff February 26, 2015 3:36:53

Great video! Thank you. Do you have a video on “Open Lock” which might
discusses the position of the disc and how to diagnosis which side is the
problematic side?

    Brandon Streiff March 9, 2015 6:46:25

    +Gregory Pucel That is a great video as well, but I was hoping for one that
    addresses specifically “open lock” where the condyle slips beyond the
    eminence and locks the patient in an open position. Disc is said to be
    anterior to the eminence but its location to the condyle seems to be

Lily .x2_ March 9, 2015 5:56:40

I am 13 years old and this happens to me at least 2 or 3 days a month and I
am only able to fit 2 fingers in. What do you think I should do?

Chandra Salas July 17, 2015 23:00:31

Thank you so much for the info! It helped with out scaring me half to death
lol. I Just got a night guard when i believe i need a splint. Could that
help at all for the problem in the video? I hear popping on one side also.

    Gregory Pucel July 21, 2015 21:57:23

    +Chandra Salas – yes

Emily Roebuck August 5, 2015 4:43:48

I’m pregnant with closed lock. My dentist says there isn’t anything he can
do until baby is born. I have had closed lock for a week. Should I get a
second opinion? Is this common in pregnancy due to hormones?

    Gregory Pucel August 13, 2015 21:24:12

    +Emily Roebuck Get a second opinion. the only restriction that i know of
    would be to imaging the joint. Treatment should not be effected by or
    effect your pregnancy.

Kristina Haydocy August 29, 2015 18:12:12

this is the third day my jaw has been locked only on the right side. i woke
up like this. i can about my mouth just about enough to fit almost 2
fingers just like in this video. my ear also kinda hurts on the ride side.
my problem is i have no dental insurance. im hoping that i can just be seen
and get billed because i cant eat or do anything… ive been taking
ibprofen and that hasnt helped im just very scared and want to go back to
normal :(

Kristina Haydocy August 29, 2015 18:13:17

my mouth also doesnt go straight down when i try and open it it goes to an
angle. this is the most awful thing!!!! any suggestions?

Goku G September 13, 2015 6:41:50

I m facing very same problem as u mentioned in the video…I m not having
any pain from day 1…..I had consulted two dentist…they told me to do
exercise( such as eating apple,gauva) so tht it would open the lock
automatically but its been 15days,its annoying me…according to video my
jaw might be crushed or damaged if I continue like dis….plz suggest me

Medlynne Cuyugan December 13, 2015 16:00:42

Hi doc, I have braces and it’s almost a year and my dentist just pull out
my upper right second to the last molar of my teeth this month ago and it’s
start locking of my jaw but it has no pain. 2nd time my right jaw close
locked. Any advice please is it normal or what 🙁 i’m scared.

    Gregory Pucel December 30, 2015 15:11:29

    +Medlynne Cuyugan : Unfortunately, I cannot give you a diagnosis for this
    issue without an evaluation of the all of the parameters. My advise is to
    consult with a dentist that does TMJ treatments to get the appropriate

Rebecca December 25, 2015 14:59:41

Is surgery the only option after the closed lock has occurred for around 3

    Gregory Pucel December 30, 2015 15:07:48

    +Tris Prior : I don’t believe so. to me three months is still a relatively
    acute problem and can potential be rectified with the APPROPRIATE bite

    Rebecca December 30, 2015 19:05:39

    +Gregory Pucel thank you for the response. Do you have any advice on the
    correct bite appliance?

    Gregory Pucel December 30, 2015 20:22:43

    +Tris Prior : for a closed lock, the appliance that typical use has height
    in the back so that only the molars touch on both sides, But I wouldn’t
    presume to design an appliance without all the data, an MRi AND a visual
    examination. Each Doc will have his own preferences.

Darien Keay May 31, 2016 23:02:38

Any advice for someone that can’t close their mouth all the way? I’ve
always had popping as I open and close my mouth but the past couple days my
right jaw has been in pain. This morning I woke up and haven’t been able to
bite down all the way (my back right molars can’t touch) and when I try to,
there’s pretty severe pain. I understand you cannot diagnose me and I am
going to visit my dentist as soon as I can but I just can’t find any videos
about the jaw not closing. Thank you.

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