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Doctor insights on: Lockjaw Palsy

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What's the difference between lockjaw and bell's palsy?

What's the difference between lockjaw and bell's palsy?

One is more serious: Classic lockjaw is caused by a toxin produced by the tetanus bacteria that causes muscles to go into uncontrollable, involuntary spasms including the jaw muscles. Your jaw can also lock due to a more benign condition, which is probably genetic called dystonia. Bells palsy is the opposite, it is due to paralysis of the muscles on one side of the face caused by inflammation of the nerve. ...Read more

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Palsy (Definition)

...is a corruption of French "paralise" from Latinized Greek "paralysis." In the old days it meant any kind of persistent weakness. To this day Parkinson's disease is also called "paralysis agitans" which is a Latin translation of Dr. Parkinson's original name for it, the "shaking palsy." We've obviously reborrowed the full form "paralysis" into English as well; today ...Read more


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How can you die from lockjaw?

Tetanus: In the past, the painful hypercontraction of all muscles made breathing impossible. The tetanus bacillus, unlike most bacteria, grows best in dead tissue and used its toxin to kill its victims. Today, it is easy enough to paralyze the sufferer and put them on a ventilator until the disease passes. You still do not want to get tetanus. ...Read more

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What are the tests for lockjaw?

Tetanus or TMJ?: The diagnosis is made by history and physical examination. No specific lab test is available to diagnose tetanus. For TMJ lockjaw history past and present, physical examination, review of systems, neurologic exam, musculoskeletal exam and imaging. ...Read more

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What are the symptoms of lockjaw?

What are the symptoms of lockjaw?

Not opening.: You may experience different symptoms, however, usually lockjaw leads to feeling a lot of discomfort and pain in either one or both joints as well as not being able to open / close. This is usually a chronic condition related to your joint anatomy. ...Read more

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What are common causes of lockjaw?

What are common causes of lockjaw?

TMJ disk abnormal: Anterior disk displacement without reduction possibly. Need to see oral maxillofacial surgeon or subspecialists in tmd / facial pain. ...Read more

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How to tell if I am developing lockjaw?

"Stuck" or "Lock": The major sign is jaw that is locked in position or difficult to open. TMJ dysfunction is a group of conditions that can cause joint lock and visit to your dentist is warranted. ...Read more

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How to know if I have lockjaw or whatever it is?

How to know if I have lockjaw or whatever it is?

TMD\TMJ?: It sounds like it might be a tmjoint problem. Have your general dentist refer you (or research it on your own) to a dentist in your area with extensive training and experience treating patients with temporomandibular joint dysfunction for an evaluation. ...Read more

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How to treat lockjaw?

See OFP specialist: Orofacial Pain provides diagnosis and management of pain in the face, TMJ disorders, locking jaw as well as, associated headaches and neck pain. They are the experts in this field. Good luck. ...Read more

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Is lockjaw always fatal?

No: First of all, tetanus is relatively rare and has decreased in incidence since vaccination began in the 1940's. In the us, mortality rates recently have been around 15-20%, compared to 91% in the 1940's. It is much lower if one is vaccinated, with mortality rates around 6% if vaccinated. So get that vaccine or booster if you haven't! ...Read more

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Why is lockjaw common in babies?

Cultural practices: In the third world many are unimmunized for their lifetime and moms don't pass any transient resistance to tetanus germs on to their newborns. Unsanitary cutting tools & or the practice of putting cow dung on the cord stump to speed separation are practices that lead to neonatal tetanus.In industrialized societies, a mom that avoids the recomended tetanus booster may leave baby vulnerable. ...Read more

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Dr. Randall Stastny
112 doctors shared insights

Lockjaw (Definition)

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lockjaw Variety of causes, all serious. See a TMJ expert for guidance. Any dentist can be a TMJ expert with the proper training and experience. Most commonly, oral surgeons, prosthodontists, and orofacial pain specialists. Ask your MD, your dentist and your ...Read more


Dr. William Singer
1,026 doctors shared insights

Paralysis (Definition)

A paralyzed limb cannot be voluntarily moved, and the term reflects leg involvement, paraplegia, full body, quadriplegia, and less than full, tetraplegia. Causes can be many, including stroke, trauma, ...Read more