Clicking & locking jaw

Posted , 3 users are following.


I've had a clicking jaw (l/h side) for some time, and has recently gotten worse resulting in prolonged periods of inability to fully open mouth - particularly bad when eating. I used to be able to push the jaw joint back into functioning, but this is not so easy now. 

I've been to the doctor who referred me to NHS specialist; very quick examination resulted in a diagnosis of it being caused by grinding my teeth whilst asleep. I've now been wearing a mouth guard in bed since mid-May, but I've actually found that the locking is getting worse - almost permanent - and when it does click back into place it feels as through something is going to snap! Is this part of the 'healing' process? 

Whilst I do not wish to criticise the doctor directly, he gave very little attention to other possibilities as soon as he decided I grind my teeth. My appointment lasted less than 10 minutes, most of which was spent creating the mould for the mouth guard. 

I've got about 3 or 4 months before my follow up appointment, but I don't feel that I'm going to be able to put up with this for much longer. 

I'd be grateful for any advice on how to go from here - thanks. 

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi Country Mike, I had similar problem years ago. I saw ENT & he mentioned that I might be chewing to much gum. I switched to mints & my issue stopped.

    Years later I'm getting the same with pain. I'm to get further testing. Hope this helps.

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  • Posted

    hi mike

    you said you have 3 - 4 months to wait for your next appointment so i guess you're not there yet - i hope you're finding a way to get through.  i've just joined and have answered my first post on tmj stuff by sar2015.  sadly, sar too reports a case of apparent indifference by the nhs specialist.  how trash is it that the second has exactly the same "so what?" nhs experience as the first???

    rather than retype a load of stuff i already did on sar2015's discussion page could i ask you to go check it out a bit of 'where i come from' on all this - 30+ years of dislocations, snapping shut (or open), lockjaw, painkillers, different treatments, initial major op and now 3 months ago, finally a tmj total replacement.   end of the road stuff.   it's fair to say i have some personal experience.  as i say on sar's page though, that is my only qualification.

    my first impression is that you have indeed been rather 'brushed off'.. again as i asked sar, can you tell a little more?  you say 'for some time' ..months? ..years??  have you ever suffered trauma (broken jaw, baseball bat ..u know the sort of thing  how about pain.. are you on meds for that?

    blatantly this is way more concerning to you than the folk you saw so briefly can have picked up on - since you probably have a month or so before your follow-up, how about starting to make a 'gameplan' now - so you know exactly what you want to achieve from the visit.. that's something i may be able to throw some useful thoughts at you about.

    mike, if they say you grind your teeth that probably is the case but i would also be asking why, what damage it has done to your teeth and your bite and i'd want to know if it could be a result of the tmj damage you seem clearly to have rather than the cause of it, which they seem to imply.

    all best wishes with it, mike.  don't give up - i came onboard to say that however long it takes, however bad it is, chances are it can be improved!  i hope to hear from you soon.    smile

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  • Posted

    hello mike.. guess you had that appontment some 2 or 3 months ago now - any news?  if there is, hope it's good for you - or at least it's enough to point you in the right direction!   smile

    all the best


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    • Posted

       I have just come across this forum and am so releived, I have tried soft diet, pills, mouth guard and next stop is wash out. My  consultant reckons I am looking at joint replacement. My problem is due to osteoathritis (I already have 2 new knees !) I am gob smacked  to say the least. Does  you know anything about this surgery and what I can expect ? thankyou so much in anticipation
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    • Posted

      hi dotty lotty..  wink

      this just to say sorry for being so slow getting back to you - it's not that i've missed your post - give me a day or so and i'll be happy to chat about it.  main thing is to start by burying yourself in quality, authoratative information - 'related info' to the right in here's a good kickoff point but i must have more than a hundred bookmarks from all over the web.

      can tell you it obviously is absolutely 'end of the line' stuff.. unless you're already seeing one of the surgeons that do it (8 in uk; spread between 3 specialist units) who are the last hurdle the fact that your maxfax consultant's suggesting it means chances are you qualify.    you also have my monumental sympathy - not from what i go through now - which is sooooo minor by comparison - but from how it USED to be!!  i really can say i have a clue!

      my main message has to be chase it!  btw.. at a squeeze they'll have you done and gone in 24 hours or less at best.. even with a li'l 'ooooops' complication along the way they only kept me for two days.

      if you hadn't guessed lotty - i'm a fan.. it changed my life!

      do drop another post here for now ..i'm still in the middle of getting a tmj replacement 'discussion' going on here.. i've even got photos but it won't happen for a few days yet!

      best wishes, lotty - hope at least you have some measure of pain relief meds available to you.. it's bad enough it doesn't work right but then it has to go and hurt as well!!  cry ..haha

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