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TMJ Question: Limited jaw opening?



Junior member
Dec 11, 2012
This question is posed to any TMJ dentist out there! Please, I need your help and advice.

I've been having problems with my TMJ lately, blocked ears,muscle spasms, pain around the face, joints etc. occurring off and on. I went to consult a TMJ specialist who performed an assessment on me.

I discovered that my jaw opening was only 26mm... it improved a little bit later on in the examination but was probably still < 30mm. I was shocked as I'd never realised it before.

As a result, they want me to go in for an MRI scan as they suspect it might be a disc displacement issue. The thing is, I've rarely ever had my jaw click or pop. Maybe a click once in a blue moon, or a crack, but very, very rarely. How could a disc displacement without reduction happen? I know I'm a night time clencher, not so much a bruxer. Could this also be due to muscular spasms alone?

I'm really worried and terrified about having this scan done.

I don't have an answer for you but I am very interested in how you get on because I have just been referred to hospital myself for TMJ I have suffered with it for years and it is getting really bad now. I haven't a clue as to what is going to happen and I am hoping everything is pain free.

What worries you about an MRI scan?

All the best to you, keep us posted.
I know, I am hoping that someone with some TMJ expertise will respond to this thread...

I keep worrying that my disc is in fact, displaced without reduction. I have done a bit of random poking about the internet and sadly, that only serves to increase my fears about the worst possible outcome.

The MRI scan is scary in itself, I get claustrophobic, and it's not a pleasant test in that respect.
Then I worry about the results - what if it shows that my disc is displaced? How long has it been that way? Will I need surgery? I keep getting these distressing symptoms and I am worried they'll never go away.


Can anyone help?
Hello, I'm not a dentist but I had your problem all right. It sounds like a disc displacement and you'll have to use a splint for a year or year and half to get the disc back in place.

I've had this issue ten years ago when a dentist pulled out a tooth. I started to feel mind blowing headaches and face pain. Pain killers were of no use.

Don't be scared. It is fixable but you need to take care of that disc displacement for the rest of your life. What I mean by this is, you'll need to be aware how you eat, what you eat and such to take care of that disc always as it will be prone to popping if you push it to a extreme. For example, I can no longer bite apples. I have to cut them and eat them. It's not like the disc is going to pop out of place just like that, but I wouldn't risk it).

I am going again to disc displacement and a deviated jaw now (this is because of a bad dental procedure. Please do not think that the discs pops out of the blue. Don't be scared). I'm getting treatment for it. I actually had to put my jaw back in place as it wouldn't open at all.

Hope this helps :)