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That big yawn can kill you

London, November 19
Next time when you yawn try to be more careful by keeping your mouth closed as it can save you from endangering your life.

34-year-old Ben Shire from Horsham, Sussex, was making a cup of tea to keep himself awake when a massive yawn took hold. Within seconds, his jaw got dislocated. He collapsed on the floor, unable to breathe or swallow.

His wife dialled 999 as he lay on the floor choking on his saliva. Paramedics rushed Shire to hospital, with his jaw still locked, where medics resuscitated him using a suction device.

It then took doctors four hours to reset his jaw.

"We can laugh about it now, but it wasn't funny at the time," the store worker 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." His wife Sam, a hotel cleaner, said "I was really panicking and didn't know what to do."

Cases of jaws locking open mid-yawn are very rare. 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.

People with locked jaws can feel like they are choking because of the build-up of saliva in their mouths.

To reset a locked jaw, dentists push the lower jaw downwards and back by pushing on the lower back teeth. PTI

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