Lockjaw

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Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

Sanshiro Kato

Sanshiro Kato, MD (Emergency department)

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People with these symptoms also use Ubie's symptom checker to find possible causes

  • My mouth doesn't open fully

  • Difficulty in opening mouth

  • Problems opening the mouth

  • I can't open my mouth wide

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Content updated on Sep 6, 2022

About the symptom

Trismus, or lockjaw, is a painful condition in which the jaws do not open fully. Trismus can lead to pain, problems with eating, speaking, and oral hygiene. Trismus is when a person is unable to open their mouth more than 35 millimeters.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Muscle weakness in the limbs

  • Fever

  • Peripheral cyanosis

  • Recent weight loss

  • Difficulty breathing / breathlessness

  • Blurring of vision

  • Alternating diarrhea and constipation

  • Dysphagia

  • Headache

Possible causes

  • Temporomandibular arthrosis

    This is a degenerative condition that affects the jaw (temporomandibular) joint. There are changes and degeneration of bone structure, resulting in inflammation of the joint. The condition affects females more than males. Grinding or clenching of teeth, dislocations or fractures and genetics are risk factors.

  • Acute tonsillitis / pharyngitis

    Infection of the tonsils and pharynx (back of the mouth), either by viruses or bacteria.

  • Scleroderma

    This is a condition that causes skin hardening and can be divided into localized or widespread (systemic scleroderma). It is a disorder where the immune system mistakenly attacks it's own body.

  • Muscular dystrophy
  • Mucopolysaccharidosis

  • Schwarz-Jampel syndrome

Related serious diseases

Questions your doctor may ask about this symptom

Your doctor may ask these questions to check for this symptom

  • Do you have difficulty opening your mouth properly/fully?

  • Do you have a fever?

  • Do you have headaches or does your head feel heavy?

  • Do you have problems focusing or a reduced sense of awareness in your surroundings?

  • Do you feel any numbness or change in sensation?

Other Related Symptoms

Similar symptoms or complaints

Reviewed By:

Maxwell J. Nanes

Maxwell J. Nanes, DO (Emergency department)

Sanshiro Kato

Sanshiro Kato, MD (Emergency department)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

Ubie is supervised by 50+ medical experts worldwide

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