Lockjaw is a difficulty in moving the jaw muscles. Therefore, it limits the opening of the mouth. People who have will have difficulty speaking and eating. They may also have trouble with their oral hygiene. It is a painful condition. However, it is usually temporary.
The following are common signs of Lockjaw:
- Difficulty in speaking
- Difficulty in eating
- Trouble doing oral hygiene
- Jaw pain
- Dry mouth
- Sore mouth
It is usually temporary. However, if left untreated, it may be permanent. It can change one’s facial appearance in severe cases. Also, tooth decay and ulcers in the mouth are possible. It is because of the inability to brush and floss teeth. Teeth may crack too. Therefore, the grinding associated with Lockjaw will cause tooth enamel to break. One can experience weight loss. It is because of the difficulty in eating.
It happens because of different reasons. However, lockjaw is not harmful in itself. But it indicates possibilities of serious illnesses or health issues. Among these are:
Moreover, it is the most common cause. It results from bacterial infection. It affects the muscles and the nervous system in the body. The muscles will tighten. At first, it will affect the muscles of the neck and jaw. It will eventually spread to the rest of the body. Also, animal bites, cuts, wounds, burns, and insect bites are the usual causes. It can also be because of other activities that can invite infection. It can block the central nervous system. Hence, it causes muscle spasms and locking of the jaw.
It is a condition in which the muscle remains in an active position. Therefore, the muscles will not relax. An injury to muscle, nerve, or bone is the cause of it.
Inflammation of Soft Tissue
Furthermore, it is another possible cause of Lockjaw. There are various reasons why this happens. Also, the most common is too much usage of mouth or too much chewing.
Cancer and some cancer treatments can cause Lockjaw. They injure body structures that control movement in the jaw.
Some medicines affect nerve function.
These include fevers. Other oral illnesses that have symptoms in the mouth are also to blame.
Proper diagnosis is needed to determine Lockjaw’s meaning. Doctors will perform different tests. The simplest is by opening the mouth. Those who have it can only open their mouths less than 1.4 inches. Doctors will measure how wide the mouth can open. They will also detect tightness in the jaw muscles. They will look out for teeth clenching. Also, the doctor can ask for some lab tests too. These will identify injuries or wounds in and around the jaw.
Lockjaw can be very uncomfortable and painful. A serious internal illness could be one of Lockjaw’s meanings. That is why it is important to have a proper diagnosis. Lockjaw treatment will focus on treating the cause of it. Hence, it is to lessen the symptom of Lockjaw.
5. Home Remedies
There are simple at-home lockjaw treatments you can do to manage it. Apply a warm compress. Use a hot water bag or a towel soaked in hot water. Apply it to the area several times a day. Likewise, it will loosen the muscles in the jaw. You can also use cold packs. Also, it will lessen the pain in the jaw. Maintain proper posture. It is very vital to prevent it from getting worse. Besides, sit in an erect position and sleep on your back.
6. Proper Nutrition and Activity
Eat foods that contain magnesium and calcium. Magnesium is present in nuts and seeds. Eat Brazil nuts, almonds, watermelon seeds, and sesame seeds. As a result, it will help your central nervous system. Calcium comes from milk and milk-based products. Therefore, it will strengthen the bone and reduce the pain. Try jaw exercises too. Remember that this can be painful at first. Do not force yourself. Do it carefully. Open the jaw slightly. Move the moth from one side to the other. Do these several times.
There are other home remedies you can try if the ones above do not work. You can apply hot garlic and mustard oil on the jaw. Herbal teas also help reduce pain. They can release locked muscles. As always, call your doctor first. If you are feeling unsure of the remedies, seek professional help.