Locked Jaw / Lockjaw after Wisdom Tooth Extraction: What to Do

Dental Care Center of Information

Q&A : Locked Jaw / LockJaw After Wisdom Tooth Extraction

Summary: Why do some people have lockjaw after wisdom tooth extraction and how to handle the locked jaw condition? You will find all of the answers here. Hopefully, this post can give you some ease and understanding about the condition.

Lock jaw, which is also known as trismus is an occasional, unfortunate event which may happen after wisdom tooth extraction surgery or other surgery performed near the jaw area.

Having a lock jaw is uncomfortable, and sometimes can be painful. However, there’s no reason for panicking. In relation to dental surgery, the locked jaw may be caused by trauma to the muscles from the direct injection or local anesthesia.

There are no other lock jaw symptoms besides the general restriction of jaw opening and mouth and some discomforts that may exist.

How to Treat Locked Jaw / Lockjaw after Wisdom Tooth Extraction / Removal

There are no special care needed to treat trismus, assuming that you have a mild or normal lockjaw after wisdom tooth extraction. However, if the pain and swelling stays for more than ten days, the lockjaw may be caused by something more serious like damaged disc or other jaw related dislocation.

If this happens, it is for your best interest to visit the dentist or oral surgeon. Have him or her to look at the degree of the locked jaw, and hopefully he or she can determine the required procedure to relax your jaw muscle. He or she may recommend using muscle relaxers, or in worst cases, have another surgery to fix the damaged disc (don’t worry, this doesn’t happen a lot)

To prevent lockjaw after wisdom tooth extraction, you can try out some of the tips below:

First, use an ice-cold compress in the areas of the wisdom tooth removal surgery for the first two or three days. The swelling may reach its peak after three days, so when that happens you should use extra warm compress instead. Do this as often as possible. (which is why in our post about wisdom tooth removal we recommend you to have the surgery in Thursday or Friday)

Relax the jaw muscles by massaging them using the fingers. Massage the jaw from the front of the ear to the chin’s lower area.

After it is relax enough, slowly stretch the teeth apart using the fingers. Keep them open for about 30 seconds a day. Gradually it may help the jaw to relax even more and increase its mobility.

TIPS: Never force it too hard. Just do these jaw exercise for lockjaw slowly and regularly. Stop when you feel the pain, and start over.

I hope you can find the best solution to treat locked jaw or lockjaw after wisdom tooth removal here. Share some comments about your wisdom tooth extraction experience!

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