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Face and Jaw Surgery

Jaw problems



Im a 46 yrs old male and had my finger in my mouth digging out some food and my elbow was hit, and this caused my jaw to be forced open more with a loud pop. Now my left side of my jaw pops and moves about a 1/16" inward everytime I open it. The harder the food I eat, the harder it pops. It seems like the joint is in the socket and ok when I close my mouth, it just seems to slide inward now. If I move my jaws around it will pop as well pretty loud... I had no pain upon the injury nor now, 1 week later.

Could you tell me what I might have damaged, what is happening inside the joint, and If this can go away by itself or is it permanent?

What do you think the diagnoisis would be, could it just be a stretched ligament or something more serious like disc displacement?

If the joint was out of alignment I dont think my mouth would feel right or the bite would seem off, but everything else seems normal...

Would hospital ent doctor be able to treat me? Thank you!

Would displacement of the cartilage that lies between the part of the jaw in the jaw joint and the skull portion of the joint be a serious lifetime injury as well?


By you description, it seems that you may have suffered some internal de-arrangement  of the temporomandibular joint.  Only a complete physical and radiographic exam can provide you the information need to start treatment. 

I recommend that you visit an oral and maxillofacial surgeon who specializes in the management of this type of disorder.

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Response by:

Guillermo  E Chacon, DDS Guillermo E Chacon, DDS
Associate Professor of Dentistry
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University