Can't open mouth fully after filling?Asked by: Prof. Jillian Hudson
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If you notice that you are having problems opening and closing your mouth, or that your jaw sometimes feels frozen in place, you may have a condition called trismus (lockjaw). This is caused by a muscle injury that can happen following a dental injection, particularly when treating your lower teeth.View full answer
Similarly, it is asked, Why can't I open my mouth all the way after a filling?
This happens because you've had to hold your jaw open for an extended period of time while the dentist works their magic. Sensitivity is also a common side-effect of having a cavity filled. Normal pain caused by a filling should disappear within a few days. If it lasts longer, you should contact your dentist.
In respect to this, Can barely open mouth after dental work?. While trismus can arise after any oral surgery, it's sometimes seen after the extraction of wisdom teeth, especially the lower wisdom teeth. (Wisdom teeth are the last molars on each side of the jaw.) Trismus can occur due to the inflammation the surgery creates or the hyperextension of the jaw during the procedure.
In this manner, Why does my mouth not open fully?
Trismus is an uncontrolled inability to open the mouth or jaw. Trismus interferes with many daily activities—chewing, swallowing, talking, brushing teeth, even breathing. The condition may be caused by dental problems, cancer and cancer treatment, surgery, trauma, or other factors.
How long does it take for trismus to go away?
Trismus usually resolves itself in less than two weeks, but it can be very painful in the meantime. Permanent trismus can occur too. Whether trismus is around for days or months, daily exercises and massaging can ease the pain.
However, when tetanus is the cause, immediate medical attention is needed. Lockjaw is a symptom that occurs after the infection has been in the body for some time and its onset may indicate a medical emergency. An inability to open your mouth may also be a dental emergency.
The 3 Finger Test
A quick and easy way to identify a possible case of Trismus is to place three of your fingers, stacked, between your upper and lower teeth, or dentures. If the mouth can open wide enough to accommodate them comfortably, then Trismus is unlikely to be a problem.
Repeat small mouth-opening and mouth-closing movements several times as a warm up. Then, place your fingers on the top of your front four bottom teeth. Slowly pull down until you feel slight discomfort on the tight side of your jaw. Hold for 30 seconds, and then slowly release your jaw back to the staring position.
- Open your mouth as wide as you can, until you feel a good stretch but no pain (see Figure 4). ...
- Move your lower jaw to the left (see Figure 5). ...
- Move your lower jaw to the right (see Figure 6). ...
- Move your lower jaw in a circle to the left.
Lockjaw is most often temporary but if it becomes permanent, it can be life-threatening. Severe lockjaw can even affect swallowing and alter the appearance of the face. Lockjaw, also known as trismus, is a condition in which a person is unable to open their jaws fully.
Any sensitivity or discomfort you feel after a filling should let up after a couple of weeks. If more than two weeks have passed and you're still noticing that your jaw hurts, it's a good idea to schedule a follow-up visit with your dentist.
It is possible to suffer nerve injury through dental work; this can be after an injection for anaesthesia, tooth replacement, crowns or after a tooth extraction (see Wisdom Teeth). There are two main nerves in the mouth that can be susceptible to damage these are the lingual nerve and the inferior alveolar nerve.
How soon after infection do symptoms occur? The incubation period is usually 8 days but may range from 3 days to 3 weeks. Shorter incubation periods are associated with more heavily contaminated wounds.
How long will the sensitivity last? Sensitivity from a tooth filling should go away within two to four weeks. If the sensitivity doesn't seem to be getting any better during that time, or it lasts for longer than four weeks, contact your dentist.
An irritated nerve
Short-term tooth sensitivity after a filling usually occurs because the filling procedure has aggravated or caused inflammation in the nerve inside the tooth. Usually, the tooth's outer layers — the enamel and cementum — protect the nerve from exposure.
Tooth sensitivity: A tooth that has just had a filling placed will be more sensitive to hot foods and cold foods, air temperature, and the pressure of biting. This type of tooth pain after filling a cavity should resolve within a few weeks. If not, contact your dentist.
Open your mouth so a small part of your teeth are exposed and stretch your mouth as wide as you can. Hold for at least ten seconds. Keep repeating until your mouth is exposing as much of your teeth as possible and hold for ten seconds.
- Massage the jaw joint and muscles to loosen them. This is helpful to relieve the pain and stiffness during a lockjaw flareup.
- If the jaw hurts, then an alternate heat and cold treatment can help reduce pain. Hold ice or cold pack on the side of the face near the jaw joint for 10 minutes.
If you are experiencing issues such as jaw clicking and locking, you may have temporomandibular joint dysfunction (usually referred to as TMJ/TMD). TMJ/TMD occurs when the temporomandibular joint becomes damaged or inflamed due to an injury, inflammatory disorders, and other such issues.
Lockjaw causes serious trouble in speaking, eating or even in maintaining the usual oral hygiene. It can be a temporary problem, as well as a permanent one. However, temporary lockjaws are more frequent. In severe cases, it can even alter the facial appearance.
- applying an ice pack or moist heat to the jaw.
- taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen (Advil) and aspirin, antidepressants, or muscle relaxants.
- eating soft foods.
- wearing a night guard or splint.
- performing TMJ-specific exercises.
- Apply heat or cooling packs. Apply moist heat or cold, whichever feels better, to the joint or muscles that are sore. ...
- Watch what you eat. Eat a soft pain–free diet. ...
- Chew on both sides. ...
- Stop clenching. ...
- Relax your muscles. ...
- Relax in general. ...
- Figure it out. ...
- Sleep well.
Common medications for trismus include muscle relaxers and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) to relieve pain. Depending on the severity of the symptoms, a doctor may prescribe oral medications or drugs that require injection into the jaw. Some forms of NSAIDs are also available over the counter.
Ways to Prevent Trismus
Maintain good oral hygiene. Maintain good posture. Massage your jaw muscle. Exercise your jaw muscles.
There are also simple and/or complex medical devices that can be placed in the mouth to help to open the jaw gradually. Whatever the cause, treating jaw stiffness – first with ice packs, then heat, then physical stretching – you can correct the trismus sooner and return more quickly to pain-free laughing and living.