Laughing too hard can mean a bellyache, tears streaming down the cheeks and the inability to catch your breath, but can laughing too hard mean the risk of dislocating your jaw?
According to a recent article in Entertainment Times of India, this is just what happened to a Chinese woman traveling on a high-speed train to Guangzhou in South China.
Witnesses to the event said they noticed a female passenger on the train laughing uncontrollably for several minutes. They also observed her jaw being stuck open, seemingly as a result of her laughter.
Fortunately for the woman, a doctor was also a passenger on the train and stepped up to help.
The doctor initially thought the patient had had a stroke, but after a quick examination he determined that the predicament was caused by laughing too hard.
Luckily, the doctor was able to reset her jaw quickly.
She revealed to him that she had dislocated her jaw in the past due to frequent vomiting during pregnancy.
'As with any joint, if you dislocate your jaw once, you're at risk of dislocating it again,' said Dr. Sean Endsley of Legends Dental in Waco, Texas.
Dislocating the jaw causes wear and tear on the temporomandibular joints, also known as the TMJs, which hinge the jaw to the skull.
'The TMJs are some of the most dynamic joints in the human body,' Endsley said. 'They allow your jaw to move up and down, back and forth, and side to side. They play an important role in speaking and eating.'
Over time, repeated damage to the jaw and subsequent wear and tear on the joints can lead to the development of temporomandibular joint disorder, commonly known as TMD.
'TMD is caused by stress and wear on the jaw joints, which can cause pain, stiffness and loss of use if left untreated,' Endsley said.
This stress and wear can be caused by aging or trauma, but is most often caused by an unbalanced bite.
This can mean a stuck-open jaw or a jaw that is locked closed.
'Either situation can be rather disconcerting,' Endsley said.
Other symptoms of TMD include jaw muscle tension, headaches, migraines and unexplained ear and facial pain.
'Symptoms of the condition often present themselves similarly to the effects of other health conditions, so patients don't always recognize them as the signs of TMD,' Endsley said.
Source: Entertainment Times. Woman dislocates her jaw after laughing too hard! 12 September 2019.