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Locked Jaw

Updated: Nov 2, 2021

Tracey continues on her journey to jaw surgery, in the hopes of addressing the root piece of her Mast Cell Activation Syndrome. Read back through previous posts to get the lead up to today's part of her story!

By the time I was finishing up university, my jaw would sometimes dislocate and lock, so that I couldn’t close my jaw. Once I had a full-time job after finishing university, I had my wisdom teeth pulled. The idea was that having more room in my mouth would lessen the pressure on the jaw. It worked well for a while.

But in my mid 30s, my jaw was dislocating and locking frequently. We were living in Moscow, in Russia and didn’t have a dentist there. It was really scary when it happened, because I never knew if I’d be able to get my jaw unlocked and back into position. Sometimes it took a long time to find a way to manipulate it back in place. I hadn’t been wearing an appliance for quite a few years.

When we came back to Canada, I went back to seeing the dentist I had been seeing years earlier. He did x-rays on the joint, and I was told that I had a lot of bone degeneration in the joint. A new appliance was made for me.

My abfractions were also getting much worse, and when enamel would break off, my teeth would be incredibly sensitive until some remineralization could occur. I remember thinking to myself quite a bit, "What the heck?"

The appliance seemed to do the trick. The locking of my jaw stopped.

Every story has some rising action with a point of no return, and so does mine. It was 2008, we had adopted our youngest son from China. He was 3 years old, and as you can imagine it was a difficult time for him. He had left behind everything he knew including a loving foster family.

He couldn’t speak the new language, so he used aggression as his way to communicate. This is a normal adoption response, and thankfully we were aware of that. It didn’t make it easy, but at least we understood what was going on. Most of the time he was a happy, loveable little boy, but out of the blue he would bite, pinch and tear at your skin, or pull hair. He also liked to push with all his might at my face.

One day, after another push to the face, I woke up and I could barely move my jaw. I was in excruciating pain. I couldn’t chew, and I could barely even open my mouth wide enough to push a bit of food into my mouth. Being pushed in the face was just too much for my fragile, misaligned jaw to handle.

I wore my dental appliance 24/7. I started physiotherapy. Nothing was changing. In tears, I asked my dentist for a referral. I was desperate to try something. That was 2008.

I have been in pain ever since. I’ll tell you what came next in my next post. Make sure to check in on the blog next week!


All month long, Tracey will be sharing her journey as she is in line to undergo jaw surgery in an attempt to reduce the strain on her mast cells, contributing to her diagnosis of Mast Cell Activation Syndrome.

You can follow Tracey’s journey here on the blog, as well as on Instagram and Facebook where she'll be posting regular check-ins and updates along the way.

This talk of TMJ and Mast Cell Activation Syndrome resonating with you? Consider joining our Online Community. You'll find loads of printable resources, as well as a Master Class on the Histamine Connection. Join our online community by clicking here. . It's free to join!

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