Trouble with Trismus?


Trismus is a condition in which someone has difficulty opening their mouth. Trismus can occur anytime during, right after, or even years after your treatment. It can develop:

  • If you have a tumor that involves the bones, muscles, and nerves that open the mouth.
  • After surgery to the head and neck.
  • After radiation therapy to the head and neck.

You may develop fibrosis (scarring) as the tissues begin to heal from surgery. Fibrosis can also build up years after radiation therapy.

When you can’t open your mouth well, it is hard for your doctor to examine this area. You may also have problems:

  • Cleaning your mouth and teeth. This may lead to bad breath, cavities, and infections.
  • Chewing and swallowing. This can make it difficult for you to eat and drink.
  • Talking
  • Kissing
  • Having a breathing tube placed, if you ever need general anesthesia (medication to make you sleep during a surgery or procedure).
  • Having routine dental treatment.

Once trismus develops, it is very hard to treat. That is why it is important to prevent trismus and to treat it as early as possible.

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Diana Ayling

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