Trismus is not a disease. It is a symptom of another problem.
Trismus can be caused by:
Trismus often develops slowly. For example, it can occur in someone who is receiving radiation. For this reason, it may go unnoticed for some time. Trismus also can develop suddenly. An example would be someone who is in a car accident and has trauma to the jaw.
In certain cases, if trismus is left untreated, problems with swallowing, speech and oral hygiene can develop.
People who get radiation therapy to the head and neck can undergo physical therapy for the jaw. This will decrease the risk of trismus.
To help prevent trismus, make sure to get treatment for any signs of infection in the jaw. Signs of infection include:
Many devices can be used to open the mouth gradually. They vary in cost, function and how well they work. They are not prescribed in every case.
Exercises usually are prescribed. They should be done several times a day. They may be required for many months to ensure that the trismus does not get worse or return. In more severe cases, physical therapy and muscle relaxants may be prescribed.