Adventures in Jaw Dislocation

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I’ve had TMJ since my early 20’s at least. I’ve been a teeth grinder since I can remember, and about 8 or 9 years ago, got a bite plate to help protect my teeth at night. My symptoms have been headaches, jaw pain, jaw popping, and moments of my jaw locking up. When we changed our diet, I noticed my symptoms gradually disappear. The headaches went away, my jaw popping disappeared, and I rarely, if ever, had my jaw lock up. I still wear my bite plate at night because of my teeth grinding, but other than that, I really don’t think about my mouth all that much. Over the course of the past few weeks, I’ve indulged quite a bit. I was introduced to THIS ice cream that was the beginning of the end for me. Bad, bad Shanti. Once I tasted it, I wanted more. That combined with pre-Thanksgiving indulgences as well as Thanksgiving day treats had me feeling like I was approaching the danger zone with my body. It’s funny how eating clean can really make you realize quickly when you aren’t giving your body what it needs. Then, the night after Thanksgiving, I yawned. So what, right? Well, except for the fact that my mouth was stuck open:

Yes, it just looks like I’m yelling, but I’m actually not. My mouth was stuck. After Googling home remedies and trying them, and talking to an advice nurse on the phone, we decided to head into the E.R.

I was pretty embarrassed sitting there with my mouth hanging open and drool dribbling out, so any time someone would pass by, I would slyly look down. Within a few minutes, nurses and doctors were stopping by to take a look at the freak show girl in Room 7. Soon they sent me over to x-ray, and this is what they saw:

Apparently it’s not supposed to look like that. I guess they felt sorry for my drooling self and gave me a suction to keep the drool at bay:

The doc gave me a mild sedative to relax me and tried to wiggle my jaw back into place. Apparently the little bugger had dislocated itself. After about 5 or 10 minutes of the doc pushing and wiggling with all her might, she had another doctor come in and try. When his attempts failed, they decided they needed to put me under completely. So, off I went into la la land, and when I woke up, I was back to normal!

I don’t really remember anything else until the next morning, except for throwing up a couple times. Those meds did a number on my system and I was woozy the following day, feeling foggy-headed and my jaw still radiating pain along the side of my face. By the 2nd day, though, the pain was less severe, and although I still couldn’t bite down on anything (I’m still eating soft foods), it was definitely improved. Today I’m feeling even better. I tried to eat some cashews this morning, but that didn’t go so well. So, I guess I’ll stick with the soft stuff for another few days.

So, that’s my exciting story. Who would have thought by yawning I would dislocate my jaw? Not me! I don’t think it’s a coincidence that this happened after a few weeks of splurging, though. I’m sure the sugar, wheat and dairy I indulged in had something to do with it, especially as I know those foods are all inflammatory for me.

Moral of the story: Be careful when you yawn! Just kidding. Apparently this is very rare, and the nurse who helped me said in the 15 years he had worked as a nurse, he had never seen such a thing. I like to be unique.
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  1. says

    I am glad you are all better. Thank you for sharing this not so proud moment. 😉

    I too have felt the effects of not eating clean. I decided not to tempt myself and made a clean dessert but I indulged in the ice cream like you and the effects weren’t so good. Trying to get back on the clean eating train.

  2. Dennise says

    Sorry you had to go through that but I must say I think that X-ray is pretty cool :) Im a Dental Hygienist and I have seen people come in with lock jaw but I have never seen an X-ray of lock jaw I had to show my coworker and we are in aww !!!

  3. says

    OUCH, glad they got it back in place though, that is for sure!

    I have the jaw pain and a teeth clenching issue too. Mine is usually stress related, BUT, inflammatory foods contribute as well. I notice when I am slipping up too much when I start waking up with the sore jaw and neck muscles. I am 100% gluten free, but those sugars and alcohol are the ones that creep up on me especially during the holidays. I noticed my jaw popping/cracking badly when I yawned yesterday and made note that I need to get back on track. Odd that I read this the next morning!

    Just a note, acupuncture really helps me out when I have flare ups. When I notice problems building I adjust foods, usually do some stretching/yoga, but I also schedule an acupuncture appt and that usually helps the quickest. I am usually sore a day or two after, but in general the muscles are less tense.

    Hope you heal up fast!!

  4. says

    Thanks for sharing this information. So many people need to learn that what they are eating and doing in their lives is actually causing them harm. Too many people would rather just take a magic pill to make them all better while they continue down the road of misery.

    It is a breath of fresh air when I find parents such as yourself, who are committed to protecting and nurturing their healthy, active family.

    Have you heard of ASEA? It is helping parents fortify their family’s immune system from the cellular level.

    If you watch this video you will be able to see how ASEA could be a good addition in your arsenal to protect your family’s immune system:

    Have a wonderful day.
    Laura Jacoby

  5. Masood says

    U r not the only one. I have had this issue two times once two years ago. And now today. Last time it took 10 hours to get back to place this time i did it my self. No one has ever seen this before.

  6. Cloud says

    Thanks for sharing your story!! This just happened to me two days ago for the second time in my life. I’ve had to go to the ER both times. It really sucks and is so embarrassing. It’s just nice to know I’m not completely alone :)


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