After the jaw joint has been making clicking and popping sounds for quite a while, an acute case of a TMJ closed lock can often occur.
Sometimes there is a bit of warning before the mouth gets stuck in the closed position. The warning could be episodes where the mouth locks and then unlocks
In some situations though, the mouth gets stuck in the closed position and it can happen without any warning.
Pain may sometimes occur when you try to open a mouth that has become stuck in the closed position.
If your mouth gets stuck in the closed position it is important to visit a properly trained dentist within a week of the first occurrence. This will help us to recapture the TMJ disc. As time goes by though, the TMJ disc will deform and will become stuck or it will adhere to the new position. When this happens the situation will deteriorate into a chronic TMJ closed lock where it is much more difficult to recapture the TMJ disc.
In cases where pain is associated with a closed lock, treatment can be expensive and surgery on the TMJ may be required.