Trismus Lock Jaw and TMJ Home Remedy

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Update: I have recently found, purchased and wrote up reviews on two TMJ Exercise programs. They are similar TMJ Exercises that my TMJ Physical Therapist uses to treat my TMJ patients. Click here to read reviews on TMJ Exercise products

TMJ Home

Trismus is a more difficult TMJ symptom to diagnose accurately. It is when you can't open your mouth very far. The opening can be anywhere from 5 mm to 32 mm usually. Trismus is a muscle Spasm that doesn't allow you mouth to open very far

It can go away as fast as it came, or it may take a month or two to "unspasm". This can also be called "Lock Jaw". But, in my office, a Locked Jaw is when the disc is displaced and binds up your jaw in a way that you cannot open it unless the disc is in place again, or slipping or translating freely which does allow opening of the jaw.

Muscle Spasms are not as dangerous as a True Lock Jaw. The Spasm should release at some point and allow normal movement of the jaw.

To Read an Absolutely Free Review on popular Night guards, click on this link

You can try several treatment options to treat it. If you want to try treating it yourself go to TMJ Home Remedy for tips. But generally, you need to relax the joint. That means to not chew gum, don't chew chewy foods. Warm moist heat applied to the side of the face is good,

Go to the TMJ Appliance page for the best TMJ Home Remedy treatment. Even that inexpensive guard may take several days to several weeks to unlock the muscle spasm.

BUT, you really shouldn't go longer than a week or so using Home Remedies. If the Trismus turns out to be a True Lock Jaw where the TMJ disc is dislocated preventing the jaw to open, it could lock permanently requiring only surgery to unlock it.

So, don't mess around with in longer than a week or so. Go see your local TMJ Doc for a TMJ Deprogramming Splint. Don't get an "Anotomical" Splint. Go with the Flat planed, or Anterior deprogramming Splint.

TMJ Dentists have their own philosophies of treating with different splints. If you're not getting results after one week and especially 6 weeks, go with the simple TMJ appliance that I describe on that page.

SmartGuard Night Guard

The fastest results should be from the Panky way to adjust Splints. I've talked with TMJ Dentists that have not had good luck with the Panky way, but in my office...they work almost every single time.

I'm guessing that those TMJ Dentists either had an unusual case(s) that wouldn't work or they just were not able to adjust the Panky Splint appropriately.

Update: I have recently found, purchased and wrote up reviews on two TMJ Exercise programs. They are similar TMJ Exercises that my TMJ Physical Therapist uses to treat my TMJ patients. Click here to read reviews on TMJ Exercise products

Dr. Spainhower:

First, the guard has done everything I wanted and then some. I could feel the bite adjustment happening early on, and the jaw pain (relatively mild for the most part) went away quickly (four days or so and it was totally gone). Oddly enough, the first day after I wore it, I had the worst jaw pain episode I've ever had.

I have absolutely no idea why that happened or if it was at all related to the SmartGuard, but the next day after the pain was substantially reduced and again after four days or so I had no jaw pain.

The ear stuffiness was slower going, but I felt progress after a few days. After 2-3 weeks or so, it was very, very mild (I had to think hard to even notice it) and after six weeks or so, it was gone (or at least reduced 95%).

I was even more impressed because here in Virginia it's smack in the middle of allergy season, which usually causes all sorts of sinus problems. That's why I bought another - I could feel the ears coming back slightly (very slightly, but I am sensitive to it) and in case it was the guard wearing out I wanted to have another.

Also, for what it's worth, I found it very comfortable - I never had a problem sleeping with it and it never fell out. No sharp edges or anything either (and a lot of guards end up having little edges here and there that will cut or irritate your mouth if you don't trim them). So altogether I've been extremely pleased - the thing works almost like magic.

I had become used to stretching my jaw almost subconsciously and now I feel no soreness or stiffness when I do it (which is out of habit and not necessity).

Also, even though denture cleaner tablets are very cheap, I alternated between rinsing with hot water and submerging in denture cleaner. It's barely even discolored and doesn't really show signs of use. Good care, I think, but it's also a high quality piece.

As for the fork, my first attempt was with moderate force and it came off immediately in the water. The second time, I jammed the fork in as far as it would go (it didn't go all the way through) and while it seemed stuck on there pretty well after one or two seconds in the water it slid right off.

I liked the idea of submerging it, even though the first one floated (upside down) and I got a great fit on that one. Still, I must have done something wrong.  I just hope I can save somebody else the trouble - it's probably a good idea to tell people to stick the fork all the way through. I was a little unclear as to how much pressure was needed - depending on the fork, you can encounter resistance pretty quickly even though you have a good ways to go to get through. I'll let you know how it goes next time.

Thanks for all your help and especially for the quick response to this. I really do appreciate it and I have to say I am very happy with the relief I get from the SmartGuard.




Yes the main purpose is to reduce tmj symptoms and protect my teeth.

I just got the guard 2 days ago and I already feel better.

The only thing Im struggling with is my bottom front teeth get sore and I get pools of saliva running out of my mouth.  but I have a feeling once I get used to it this will improve.  I used to have the NTI mouthguard. I kept chewing thru it and had to modify it all the time.



Dr Spainhower,

I have been using the Smartguard for a month now and I am so pleased.  I have tried so many guards and this is the first that has worked for me.  I did experience tmj, headaches, ringing in ears, vertigo, neck pain and nausea throughout my days but not now.  I strongly suggest this Smartguard for anyone who grinds or clenches.  Who would have ever thought that this odd looking guard would have given me back my normal life?

Thank you so much,

Shannon B.

Dr. Spainhower,

While I thought the $50 was a bit pricey for this product, I can say that it was money well spent. I use the SmartGuard for TMJ. I was diagnosed with TMJ by my dentist, but was unable to come up with the $3,700 he wanted to make appliances. Using SmartGuard has helped my pain tremendously. It took a few weeks, but as long as I was consistently wearing it, I noticed a huge difference.

The one bit of advice I would give is to prepare the potential customers of the possibilty of stiffness and moderate pain that will be felt when first using it. With the jaw being adjusted, it made me think that the appliance was doing more harm than good, but I decided to stay the course and am happy with the results.


Joseph L.

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