Trismus, often referred to as "lockjaw," is a condition characterized by restricted and limited mouth mobility. It can result from various causes, including issues with nerves, muscles, or joints. While trismus is an early symptom of tetanus, it is more commonly caused by other underlying conditions. Individuals with trismus often experience difficulties with swallowing (dysphagia).
The consequences of trismus can be quite significant, affecting essential functions such as speaking, eating, drinking, coughing, sneezing, and maintaining oral hygiene. These challenges can lead to serious issues like malnutrition, dehydration, social isolation, addiction, and muscle/joint degeneration.
Common causes of trismus include temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD), burn scars, radiation therapy to the head and jaw, arthritis, scleroderma, fibromyalgia, trauma, infection, impacted wisdom teeth, psychological factors such as stress and bruxism (teeth grinding), congenital conditions, and other musculoskeletal conditions.
Trismus can manifest as a chronic, long-term symptom of an underlying condition like arthritis or scleroderma, or it can occur as a reversible condition. While treatments are generally similar, individuals with chronic trismus may require ongoing management to maintain relief.
Unfortunately, prolonged immobility due to trismus can lead to joint degradation, further complicating the condition. Early intervention is crucial to prevent severe joint damage and improve overall quality of life. Studies have shown that joint tissue can deteriorate in as little as three days of immobilization, resulting in thinning cartilage and increased viscosity of synovial fluid.
We are conveniently located at 181 Toronto Road, Unit 7A in Port Hope, ON, and we are here to address your concerns related to trismus and provide you with the necessary care and treatment.