My 15-year-old son has some issues with his jaw, and his left jaw gets locked while chewing or yawning. How can he overcome this?

Q. Which jaw exercises would help a 15-year-old patient overcome lockjaw?

Answered by
Dr. Atul Prakash
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Jun 07, 2023 and last reviewed on: Sep 09, 2023

Hi doctor,

I have a 15-year-old son who has had a jaw problem for the past two weeks. The left side of his jaw sometimes gets stuck when he yawns or while chewing food. I wonder if it happens when opening the mouth a lot or less because sometimes he opens the mouth a lot, and there is no problem, and other times the left jaw gets stuck. It started two weeks back when he had severe vomiting after eating outside. I am unsure if that is the reason for opening the mouth wide while frequently vomiting, which triggered the left jaw to lock. Can you suggest some jaw-related exercises to help relieve these symptoms and cure him?

Thank you!



Welcome to

I understand your concern.

I would say it is a case of the temporomandibular joint, and it is usually self-resolving. It can be severe if the cartilage gets torn inside the joint. So, I will suggest you,

  1. Have an MRI (magnetic resonance imaging).
  2. Try to avoid repetitive movements. It is important as repetitive locking can cause pain and damage the cartilage.
  3. Leave it for a few weeks.
  4. Try relaxation exercises.
  5. Apply ice.
  6. Consult your dentist and then Ibuprofen and muscle relaxants.

I appreciate your trust in and for giving me the chance to serve you.

Our goal is to prioritize your health and help you according to your preferences and needs.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

Can you please illustrate the relaxation exercises?



Welcome back to

I have attached the link for the same.

Hi doctor,

Thank you for the reply.

My son is 15 years old. About two months back, he was ill, and he had vomited. While vomiting, he seems to have opened his mouth very wide. From the next day onward, when he opens his mouth wide, he feels the left jaw is slightly locked, then he adjusts it by pressing from outside with his palms, and then it is fine. There is slight pain when the left jaw locks, but this happens only occasionally, but no serious lock or pain. I have attached two photos:

(1) Exterior point of the jaw lock/ pain when he opens his mouth wide.

(2) Full mouth OPG (orthopantomogram). Kindly give your opinion on the OPG. Will it heal on its own?

(3) What precautions to take?




Welcome back to

I do understand your concern.

Thanks for asking again.

I still feel this is a temporomandibular joint disc issue with locking happening when the mouth is opened widely, and the outside pressure maneuver is one of the tricks that the patient can use to avoid the clicks that can be painful, too. OPG is not helpful in this condition, and MRI is the affected TMJ may be needed. Specialized physiotherapy is needed to help train the muscles to act in a manner that helps avoid permanent damage to the disc, as once damaged, it may need surgery, too. Please see a qualified maxillofacial or a dental surgeon for further management.

This is a comprehensive patient guide.


Once more, thank you for allowing us to be of service to you.

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