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Jaw Pain - Trismus Disorders

I have had a bad couple of weeks. I had a temporary crown put on. After the dental work I could not open my mouth very much. Then the tooth got infected and to make a long story short I ended up with a root canal.

My question is why can I not open my mouth. The dentist who did the root canal numbed me really good in hopes to just get an x ray but still couldn't get my mouth open enough to get a picture. I don't have a lot of pain, I just can not open my mouth. What could be causing this? ...Lanie in NC

Lanie, you have Trismus (lock-jaw). Your muscles have become defensive and locked up on you, probably helped out by the anesthetic and everything else going on with your teeth.

You need to start muscles relaxants (Flexeril before bedtime and ParaFonForte during the day). You may also need physical therapy, but you can do this on your own: 10 minutes of ice, followed by 10 minutes of heat, followed by deep massage. Repeat 3 times. You most likely have TMJ, and you will need more in-depth analysis and future treatment. You need to find a dentist who can treat you for TMJ.

John Halmaghi, DDS, FAGD

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