Symptoms Your TMJ Is Dislocated

Symptoms Your TMJ Is Dislocated

Your temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the ball-and-socket joint that helps your jaw to move around, so if you like to chew your food or talk to your loved ones, it’s important the TMJ stays in working order. But like your shoulder – likewise a ball-and-socket joint – your TMJ can become dislocated. This occurs when the “ball” – what is called the mandibular condyle – moves too far out of the socket and gets stuck against the articular tubercle, a bony part of the skull.


The most prominent symptom of a dislocated TMJ is if your jaw locks open, and you are unable to close your mouth. In such a condition, your mandibular condyle is preventing your jaw from moving properly, and the muscles around it might even be having spasms, further preventing your ability to close your mouth. The “ball,” the mandibular condyle, must be maneuvered back into position in your TMJ.


If you are unable to close your mouth and your jaw is locked into place, please call us immediately. It is important you seek and receive immediate treatment. Our dentists can adjust your jaw and chin to free the mandibular condyle and replace it back into the socket. This will allow you to open and close your mouth like normal again. Not only that, but our dentists can advise you on how to prevent dislocating your TMJ in the future. Simply preventing your mouth from opening too wide during a yawn, or even certain minor surgical procedures, can help prevent a dislocated TMJ.

A dislocated TMJ is a serious condition, affecting your ability to eat and speak, just to start. Recognizing when you need help – and calling us for immediate assistance – can be the difference between a major problem and a simple fix. Call us if you have any questions.