Why does my jaw keep popping out of place and what can I do about it?


When the thread started, I suffered mild-to-medium pain, but could still function normally.

I can no longer eat something as pathetic as Wonder Bread [sic] without severe pain.

I’ve been seeing a specialist for several months (my own dime; insurance does not cover TMJ issues) and have had some wonderful success. For example, I am no longer in moderate pain all the time (the omnipresent, dull ache is diminished).

The doctor is fantastic, but pragmatic; there is only so much he can do short of surgery, an option he cautions is a VERY last resort and of limited likelihood of success.


ETA: I have never had a cavity or wisdom teeth removed (I’m 40+). When I saw my dentist last, I was told when such things will be required, I will have to be under heavy sedation, probably general (did not press for details) due to inability to open my mouth enough for her to work.

I have the same problem as pepperlandgirl and Kamandi, jaw sometimes pops out on the left side; usually when I’m eating, but can happen other times too. I’m not able to push it back into place with gentle tugging or pushing, but I have something that works for me. If I get some really tasty food and put it in my mouth, assuming I’m a little hungry for great food, I will really want to eat and swallow the food. If I leave the food near the front of my mouth and open and close my jaw in an effort to earn the food, my jaw slides back into place under control of my regular jaw muscles. I read this post last night when mine popped out, but had to sleep because I was exhausted when it popped out. This morning I got it into place using that trick with some sausage. It took a couple of tries, and I had a plate to spit out failed attempts if necessary. I’ve also had it work with a chicken wing.