Lockjaw is a very annoying disorder that happens to the jaw, for multiple reasons. Developing a TMJ disorder can happen to anyone as it can be caused just by being punched the wrong way, or by clenching your teeth all the time because of too much coffee. It is actually quite common- however; there are quite few who are educated about it, even on a layman level.
What Is It?
TMJ lockjaw is a case where your jaw joint is no longer doing its job up to the usual standards. You may experience slight grating while trying to open your mouth wide, and may not even be able to open or close it the entire way.
How Do You Know If You Have It?
It is actually rather simple to figure out if you are suffering from TMJ lockjaw. If you are not able to open your mouth properly, then you probably have it. When I say not being able to open your mouth properly, I mean that you are physically incapable of opening it to its fullest or at least close to, without either pain or aching, or “popping” it- similar to a much slighter extent to when someone pops your shoulder back into its socket. Sometimes, you will have to wiggle your lower jaw around in order for it to close properly. It is never a good idea to actually try to force it open because there will always be a chance of it being stuck open. This, as you can imagine, is not a very safe or comfortable way to drive to the doctor’s office.
How Do You Get It?
Perhaps the most famous “cause” of TMJ lockjaw is Tetanus. Once you have figured out that you do suffer from lockjaw, your parents might throw a fit out of worry, due to mistakenly assuming that it was due to Tetanus. While it is the most famous cause, it is certainly, and, fortunately, not the most common by any means.
You could get it by having your jaw muscles to fatigue to open your mouth all the way. Related illnesses might cause inflammation. There are some people who are simply born with the wrong mandible structure. Lockjaw is very inconvenient but has a low chance of being life-threatening by itself, or due to its causes and symptoms.
How Do You Get Rid Of It?
The first thing that you should understand is that everyone who suffers from it may do so due to different reasons. So the best way for you to get actual treatment is to have yourself checked up at the hospital as soon as possible. Treatments could be as simple as changing habits or even wearing a splint or mouth guard, to having to wear braces for a couple of years while the structure is readjusted.
Though you can lessen the risk of developing this disorder, there is no real way to make you immune to it since it can be caused by so many things. If you are unlucky enough that it happens to you, don’t panic (as most people would), and seek medical help.