Do you suffer from a locked jaw? You might feel confused as this is a rare condition. A locked jaw, also known as trismus, is a type of persistent facial pain that occurs when your jaw muscles tense up and lock, and cannot be opened because of severe pain or spasms. This may also result in difficulty speaking, eating, and drinking.
There are many reasons why your jaw locks—ankylosis, temporomandibular joint arthritis, and even stress can cause it!
This causes difficulty in speaking and eating, especially with liquids. Try chewing or opening your mouth as wide as you can and you will feel the tension in your jaw muscles.
In locked-jaw pain, these muscles stay contracted instead of relaxing after eating or drinking something. The result is a painful locking sensation that persists for hours or days on end. This makes eating and speaking extremely difficult, sometimes even impossible.
Many people think that this condition is very rare but it’s actually quite common among adults and older adults. So if you are reading this article because you’ve been experiencing the symptoms of a locked jaw, don’t panic! Read on to discover how massage can help relieve pain and open your jaw again.
What Is A Locked Jaw?
A locked jaw can be described as a persistent spasm of the muscles of mastication, the muscles that open and close the jaw. When these muscles spasm, they cause pain and stiffness in the jaw joint. The symptoms of a locked jaw can be very painful and can make it difficult to eat, talk or even open your mouth.
People who have a locked jaw are likely to experience pain in their face, difficulty in opening their mouth, pain when chewing or talking, and stiffness in the cheeks, jaw, and around the ears. If you have a locked jaw, you might also notice that you drool more than normal. Locked-jaw pain is usually caused by a variety of things. Some of the most common causes are stress, tension, depression, being sick, and brain injury.
The reason that your jaw becomes tense, is because of stress and anxiety. It can happen when you are stressed out or when you are sleeping. When you are sleeping, the muscles in your face relax, but your jaw muscles stay contracted the whole time. This is what causes a locked jaw.
The Causes Of A Locked Jaw
A locked jaw is a condition in which the muscles in the jaw spasm and clench so tightly that they become locked or fixed in place, causing pain and difficulty chewing food.
There are various factors that can cause a locked jaw. Here are the most common:
3. Grinding your teeth
5. Sleep disorders
6. Eating disorders
8. Mouth disorders
10. Jaw muscle injuries
How Do You Know If You Have A Locked Jaw?
The symptoms of a locked jaw are very distinctive and often quite obvious. Strong pain in your jaw joint, stiffness in the cheeks, jaw, and around the ears, difficulty in opening your mouth, pain when chewing or talking, and increased drooling. These symptoms occur when your jaw muscles are contracting more than they usually should.
- Your mouth is very stiff and it’s hard to open.
- Your jaw pain is so bad that you can’t chew food.
- You have a hard time swallowing.
- You can’t open your mouth more than an inch.
- You have difficulty opening and closing your jaw.
- You feel pain when you touch or massage your jaw.
- You have trouble speaking.
- Your ears are plugged at night.
- You experience headaches.
- You have difficulty moving your jaw.
- You have difficulty opening your mouth.
- You have difficulty moving your lower jaw.
- You have earaches.
Sometimes, the cause of the pain may not be obvious, but you may notice redness in your cheeks or around the ears and an increase in saliva production. A locked jaw can be very painful, and it can make it difficult to eat, talk, drink, or even open your mouth. It is important to note that these symptoms may also be caused by a variety of other conditions, such as dental problems, sinus infections, or even a stroke.
What Do You Do if You Have a Locked Jaw?
There are a few things that you can do if you suddenly find yourself dealing with a locked jaw. First, rest your jaw muscles by not talking or opening your mouth as much as you normally would. Avoid chewing as much as you can until the pain goes away you can.
The best thing you can do to ease your pain is to relax. If you are stressed or anxious, you will only tighten your jaw muscles more, which will cause the pain to worsen. So, try to relax and don’t worry about food.
1. You can take warm baths to relax your jaw muscles.
2. Apply a warm compress on your jaw.
3. Bite on a piece of soft cloth to relax your jaw.
4. Take anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce swelling and pain.
5. Consume foods that are easy to chew.
6. Relax your jaw muscles.
7. Open your mouth as wide as possible.
8. Don’t force yourself to eat.
9. Don’t bite your nails.
10. Don’t grind your teeth.
11. Don’t clench your jaw.
12. Don’t sleep with a pillow under your head.
If you experience a sudden onset of jaw pain, try to pinpoint the cause. If it occurred in response to something stressful that happened, try to avoid thinking about it, as this will likely make it even worse.
If you’re sick, make sure to get plenty of rest, drink plenty of fluids, and take extra good care of your teeth. Make sure that you’re brushing and flossing regularly, and avoid hard or crunchy foods until the pain is gone.
How to Unlock a Locked Jaw at Home?
If you are experiencing a mild case of a locked jaw, you can try applying a cold compress or ice pack to the affected area for 15 – 20 minutes. You can also try taking over-the-counter painkillers to reduce the pain. Make sure you eat soft and easy-to-chew foods until the pain subsides.
If you’re experiencing a moderate to severe case of a locked jaw, you should see a doctor as soon as possible.
1. Take warm baths with Epsom salts and lavender oil.
2. Massage your jaw with a tennis ball or tennis ball against the wall.
3. Put a warm compress on your jaw.
4. Chew gum to massage your jaw muscles.
5. Open your mouth as wide as possible.
6. Sleep with a soft pillow under your head or no pillow at all.
In rare cases, a locked jaw can be a sign of a more serious medical condition, such as an infection or stroke, and should be treated as such.
Massage to Unlock Jaw
If you’re interested in finding out how to massage a locked jaw, you’re in luck. There are a few different types of massage that can help unlock a tight jaw.
1. Facing massage - This is a particularly effective type of massage that can be used to unlock a tight jaw and relax facial muscles. This technique should be performed by a medical professional.
2. Face rolling - Face rolling is a less intense form of massage that can also be used to unlock a tight jaw. Face rolling involves rolling your face against a soft surface, like a pillow or towel, to apply pressure to the tissue.
3. Scalp massage - Scalp massage can also be used to unlock a tight jaw. This type of massage involves massaging your scalp and can be done with your fingers or a massage brush, such as a scalp brush.
4. Head massage - You can also use a head massage to unlock a tight jaw. A head massage can be performed by yourself, or someone else, by gently pressing against the scalp in a downward motion.
Massaging the muscles of your jaw can help reduce pain and increase blood flow to the area. Follow these steps to massage your jaw:
1. First, wash your hands and then massage both sides of your jaw.
2. Use your thumb to massage the outside of your jaw, and your fingers to massage the inside of your jaw.
3. Use slow, gentle pressure, and focus on each muscle for 30 seconds.
4. Repeat this every day until your pain is gone.
5. Start with 2-3 times and then increase it as your pain subsides.
6. You can also use a tennis ball or a soft massage ball to massage your jaw.
7. Place the ball on your jaw muscles, and slowly roll it around.
8. Do this for 1-2 minutes daily to relieve your pain and tension.
Massage Therapy for Locked Jaw
If you’ve tried everything and the pain is still there and it’s not getting any better, it’s time to get professional help. A massage therapist can help you ease the pain and tension in your jaw by applying various massage techniques.
If you have a locked jaw, be sure to see a professional as soon as you can, as the sooner you address the issue, the sooner you can get relief.
A good massage therapist will know how to manipulate your jaw muscles and apply gentle pressure to unlock a tight jaw. They might use massage oils, hot or cold stones, or other types of manual manipulation, such as stretching and/or joint manipulation, to relieve your pain and unlock the muscles in your jaw.
Alternatively, you can do a self-massage massage of your jaw yourself. To do this, you will need a tennis ball or rubber ball, or a small lacrosse ball. Place the ball between your jaw and your temple. Squeeze your jaw muscles together as much as you can, and then release. Repeat this several times, and then switch to the other side of your jaw.
How to Massage Jaw Back in Place?
When you are massaging your jaw, it is important to note that you should push your jaw forward slightly. This will help to unlock your jaw muscles. You may also want to apply pressure to your temples and your jaw at the same time.
To do this, use the tennis ball again. Place the tennis ball on your temples and your jaw, and then push the ball towards your face. You can also apply pressure to your teeth and your jaw at the same time. To do this, use your fingers to push against your teeth as if you are trying to push your teeth back into your jaw.
If you have a massage therapist, they will be able to massage the specific muscles you need to massage to unlock your jaw. However, if you don’t have a massage therapist or you would prefer to massage the muscles yourself, below is a guide to where you need to massage.
Find the muscles around your jaw by feeling for your cheekbones and jawline with your fingers. Once you’ve located the muscles, gently massage them in small, circular motions for about 5 to 10 minutes.
You can also use a massage tool like a soft-bristled massage brush or a ball-shaped massage tool called a massage ball. To massage your lower jaw muscles, gently place your fingers behind your lower jaw and massage toward your ears. Massaging the muscles in this area may also help relieve TMJ pain.
Where to Massage for Jaw Pain?
If your jaw pain is caused by trigger points, you can massage the following muscles to help release tension and improve jaw mobility:
1. Masseter muscle - located on the side of the jaw near your ear
2. Temporalis muscle - located in the temple area above your eye
3. Digastric muscle - located at the base of your jaw between your ear and jaw
4. Mylohyoid muscle - located on the side of your jaw below your lip
5. Strap muscles - located at the back of your jaw just below your ears
6. Lateral pterygoid muscle - located just outside the joint of your jaw
7. Medial pterygoid muscle - located just inside the joint of your jaw
8. Splenius capitis muscle - located on the back of your head between your ears
9. Splenius cervicis muscle - located on the back of your head below your ears
A locked jaw, also known as trismus, is an involuntary tightening of the muscles around the jaw. This can result in difficulty opening the mouth or even trouble closing the mouth, which could cause drooling or choking. The causes of a locked jaw can be triggered by the use of local anesthetic, a migraine, or after dental or oral surgery. If you experience any of the above symptoms, you may be suffering from a locked jaw.
In addition, it may also be difficult to open your mouth and your cheeks may feel swollen and tender. If you believe you have a locked jaw, you should seek medical attention as soon as possible. The sooner the issue is addressed, the better the long-term prognosis will be.