Ever laugh so hard that your stomach hurts, or you’re crying or can’t catch your breath? It’s happened to all of us at some point. But have you ever laughed so hard that you’ve dislocated your jaw? That doesn’t sound so funny, does it?
It wasn’t funny at all when it happened to a Chinese woman traveling on a high-speed train to Guangzhou in South China.
According to a story reported by the Entertainment Times of India last year, a woman was laughing uncontrollably for several minutes, and while she was laughing, her jaw became stuck open.
This would probably make anyone panic, but fortunately for the woman, a doctor on the train quickly stepped up to help.
Initially, the doctor believed the patient had a stroke, but after a quick exam, it was determined that she had dislocated her jaw from laughing too hard. Fortunately for the patient, the doctor was able to reset her jaw quickly.
The situation on the train wasn’t the woman’s first time to experience dislocation of her lower jaw; in the past, she had also experienced the situation from frequent vomiting during pregnancy.
“If your jaw becomes dislocated once, it can happen again,” said Dr. Ettiene van Zyl, a Rogers, Arkansas, dentist.
When dislocation of the jaw occurs, it can be terrifying.
“Your jaw is stuck open or closed, and that can be alarming for many,” van Zyl said.
Dislocation also causes wear and tear on the temporomandibular joints (TMJs). These joints, located in front of the ear on either side of the head, are what connect the lower jaw to the skull.
“These joints are what hinge the jaw to the head,” van Zyl said.
They also allow your jaw to move up and down, back and forth, and side to side, making them the most dynamic joints in the body.
The TMJs also play a critical role in speaking, biting and chewing.
If dislocation or damage occurs in the joints as a result of trauma, age, or wear and tear, affected individuals can develop temporomandibular joint disorder.
“TMD is a direct result of strain on the TMJs,” van Zyl said.
The effects of TMD often include pain, stiffness, creaking, popping and snapping of the joint, feeling as if the jaw may lock in an open or closed position, and the potential for loss of use if not treated, van Zyl said.
In many cases, wear and tear on the TMJs is caused by an unbalanced bite.
“If the bite is unbalanced, one side of the jaw is usually affected first – but the other side becomes implicated to compensate for the strain on the other side of the head,” van Zyl said.
The most common symptoms of TMD include muscle tension in the jaw or temples, headaches, migraines, ear pain and facial pain.
Source: Entertainment Times. Woman dislocates her jaw after laughing too hard! 12 September 2019.