Difficulty Opening Mouth

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Reviewed By:

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

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Content updated on Sep 6, 2022

About the symptom

It refers to the restriction of the range of motion of the jaws and difficulty in opening the mouth fully.

When to see a doctor

Seek professional care if you experience any of the following symptoms

  • Visual field defect

  • Impossible to walk normally

  • Difficulty breathing / breathlessness

  • Abnormal sensation (tingling, prickling)

  • Muscle weakness in the limbs

  • Unilateral blindness

  • Recent weight loss

  • Disorder of consciousness

  • Numbness of the body

  • Altered mental status (delirium)

  • Headache

  • Seizure attack

  • Head injury

  • Fever

Possible causes

  • Acute tonsillitis / pharyngitis

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

  • Spinal cord tumor

    A spinal tumor is a tumor that develops within the spinal canal or the bones of the spine. It can be life-threatening and cause permanent disability. Causes include environmental toxins, certain inherited syndromes, such as neurofibromatosis 2 and von Hippel-Lindau disease.

  • Muscular dystrophy

    A group of diseases that cause progressive weakness and loss of muscle mass. In this condition, abnormal genes (mutations) interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle.

  • Parkinson disease (PD)
  • Multiple system atrophy

  • Spinocerebellar degeneration

  • Wilson disease

Related serious diseases

  • Cerebral infarction

    Cerebral infarction is the term given to damage to brain tissue as a result of stroke. Cerebral infarction occurs due to reduced blood supply and oxygen delivery to the brain. This results in the death of brain cells and brain damage. It is usually caused by a blood clot or fatty/ cholesterol plaques blocking a blood vessel to the brain, but can also happen if a blood vessel ruptures and bleeds into the brain.

  • Cerebral hemorrhage
  • Tetanus

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?

  • Do you have any swelling of the jaw?

  • Do you have jaw pain?

  • Are you breathless or having hard time breathing?

  • Do you feel that you cannot speak as well as before?

Other Related Symptoms

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Reviewed By:

Yoshinori Abe

Yoshinori Abe, MD (Internal medicine)

From our team of 50+ doctors

Just 3 minutes.
Developed by doctors.

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