Your jaw can be unlocked through manual manipulation, similar to popping a dislocated shoulder back into place, according to the Portland TMJ Clinic, which specialized in temporomandibular joint disorders, or TMJ, in Portland, Oregon. However, if your jaw remains locked for a length of time, even for a day, due to the progressive natural changes of the anatomy, the unlocking process becomes more difficult.
When the unlocking procedure cannot be accomplished through manual manipulation, more invasive measures are required, states the Portland TMJ Clinic. A removable stabilization appliance and relaxation techniques can help unlock the jaw. More progressed cases may require pumping fluid into the joint, a procedure performed by an oral surgeon that requires anaesthesia.
Even when your jaw can be unlocked through manual manipulation, you should have orthopedic changes made to the dislocated disc, according to the Portland TMJ Clinic. Otherwise, your jaw is likely to lock up again and require similar or more invasive treatment, or even surgery.
Treatment for TMJ can include taking muscle relaxants, wearing a specially designed mouthpiece at night, and laser therapy that relaxes the jaw by using low-level electrical currents, states WedMD. Recommended home remedies that may help relieve TMJ symptoms include taking over-the-counter pain medications, using moist heat or cold packs, learning biofeedback, eating soft foods and avoiding extreme jaw movements.