Trismus or lockjaw is the reduced opening of the jaws caused by the spasm of the muscles of mastication. The Taber’s Cyclopedic Medical Dictionary defines it as “a tonic contraction of the muscles of mastication”. Having difficulty opening your mouth for a few days after wisdom teeth extraction is normal. There can be a problem when it has lasted for more time than that. In this article, we will talk about lockjaw after wisdom teeth extraction and what to expect from it.
Is trismus normal after wisdom teeth extraction?
Not being able to completely open your mouth after an extraction or any type of oral surgery is a common. However, this should only be expected for the first couple of days. Since any longer time may indicate that something is going wrong.
How to test for trismus?
An easy way to test for trismus is by trying to fit the breadth of three fingers inside your mouth. If you can fit the breadth of three fingers inside your mouth, then you have a functional mouth opening. However, if it is difficult for you to do that, then you may have lockjaw problems.
How long does the trismus last after wisdom teeth removal?
You should expect up to a week of problems when trying to open your mouth after oral surgery. However, if it passes more than a week and it stills being a problem then you should call your dentist. You will want to know if the healing process is going correctly.
How to treat trismus after wisdom teeth removal?
You can try some safe mouth and jaw exercises to accelerate the healing process. The goal of these exercises is to stimulate your jaw and muscles to reduce inflammation and increase mobility asap. According to WebMD, you can try the following exercises to reduce stiffness and pain after oral surgery:
Keep a good posture:
It’s important to keep a good posture to reduce any additional tension on your mouth and jaw muscles.
Massage your jaw muscles:
Before trying any other exercise, you will need to massage your jaw muscles. Use your pointer and middle fingers over your cheekbone. Then, you will need to run them down over your masseter muscle and massage any areas that you feel tender or tight.
Exercise your jaw, face, and neck muscles:
Once that you have massaged your jaw muscles it is time to exercise them. Follow the next steps:
1. Open your mouth as wide as you can (hold it for 5 seconds)
2. Move your lower jaw to the left.
3. Move your lower jaw to the right.
4. Move your head up and down as when saying yes five times.
5. Move your head left to right as when saying no five times.
If you have any additional doubts or if you want to visit a dentist in the Phoenix Metro Area you can schedule a free appointment at Somos Dental by filling our online form or calling us at our number 623-469-7463. You can find us at our six locations at Downtown Phoenix, Desert Sky Mall, Mesa, Camelback, Laveen, and Avondale.