Huge yawn locks jaw, chokes man

November 19, 2007

A British man was rushed to the hospital after his monster yawn locked his jaw, blocking his ability to breathe or swallow.

Ben Shire, 34, was making a cup of tea to keep awake when he yawned, dislocating his jaw. He fell to the floor, unable to breathe or swallow, the Daily Telegraph reported. As he was choking on his own spit, Shire's wife called emergency services, which was able to resuscitate him by suctioning.

"We can laugh about it now, but it wasn't funny at the time," Shire, from Horsham, said. "I couldn't breathe because I was choking -- it felt like two fingers down my throat. The more I panicked, the more I struggled for breath."

Cases of jaws locking open mid-yawn are very rare, doctors said. Doctors advise people who do experience the problem to bend forward or lie on their side in the recovery position to let gravity ease the pressure, the British newspaper said.

Copyright 2007 by United Press International

Explore further: Discovery of stem cell signals could help regenerate bones missing in congenital skull disorders

Related Stories

Complex neural circuitry keeps you from biting your tongue

June 3, 2014

Eating, like breathing and sleeping, seems to be a rather basic biological task. Yet chewing requires a complex interplay between the tongue and jaw, with the tongue positioning food between the teeth and then moving out ...

Recommended for you


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.