I've been curious about a jaw problem that I've had for quite a long time now. Jaw problems run in the family, but none of us have been able to truly get rid of them. For one, I think it's possible that I grind my teeth at night, seeing as this jaw problem seems to be based around muscles. My grandmother, who was a nurse in her time, believes it to be a problem in which the jaw muscles are tightened due to stress or jaw clenching and grinding of teeth and the joint therefore pops out of place when the mouth is opened. It sort of works for me.
This problem is not at all painful, and is sometimes worse and sometimes better. Sometimes it locks for less than a few seconds, but it is rare and happens usually under stressful situations such as on a day with a lack of sleep. Lately I've been having less sleep due to certain responsibilites, and I've noticed that it's worse more often. Also, if I eat something very hot, it clenches up more and pops more when I open my mouth. It seems almost like its dislocated but I'm not sure - when I open my mouth it sort of pops once or twice and moves from one side to the next. It doesn't seem out of place when it's closed or open, but something that happens when I open it makes it pop.
Also, it happened very painlessly one day. I simply moved my head to one side, slowly, and it made a loud pop noise. Nothing happened at first, so it wasn't like it was dislocated right at once, but later that evening I noticed the popping when I opened my mouth while eating cereal.
What could this be?