Doctor insights on:
Why Is Tetanus Sometimes Called Lockjaw
Jaw muscle spasms: The germ of tetnus produces a chemical toxin called tetanospasmin.Normal muscle action is maintained by a balance of chemicals that signal a contraction & release. This toxin takes over the message center, locking a muscle group in the contraction mode & preventing "relaxing" messages from getting thru. Occasionally localized, most often bodywide, it locks up the jaws like it does other muscles. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
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
Yes: Tetanus is a serious, preventable, bacterial disease. Major symptoms include severe painful muscle spasm and stiffness of the neck and jaw. This is where the term "lockjaw" comes from. Patients also suffer from fever, chills, sweats, and trouble breathing. There is no cure, so prevention is key. Adults should receive tetanus vaccine every 5-10 years. ...Read more
Muscle spasms: Tetanus is caused by a bacteria called clostridium tetani. One of the initial symptoms that patients experience is spasm of the muscles that control the opening and closing of the jaw. The muscle spasms prevent the opening of the mouth, commonly referred to as lockjaw. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Booster time: What did you cut yourself on? How long ago did you have a tetanus shot.The chances of getting tetanus are remote, but if it has been longer than ten years since your last tetanus shot, you can still be protected because tetanus is a slow growing organism. Get a booster if needed. ...Read more
It varies: An infection with clostridium tetani can cause symptoms limited lockjaw or it can spread to cause symptoms throughout the body. The incubation and the time symptoms develops varies. Depending on the type of infection it can take week/s develops symptoms. Other factors influence of the speed of the spread of symptoms of the infection.[ such as spasm]. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
You should be fine: If you do throw up with lock jaw, often the vomit can pass between the teeth or behind the last teeth in the jaws. Also, the vomit can come through the nose. This occurs with patients who have had their jaws wired shut for jaw fractures. Of course there is a risk that you may aspirate your own vomit. ...Read more
If I have lockjaw (tetanus) would i be able to open my jaw fully? Stiffness in muscles in neck and jaw but i can open jaw fully. With lockjaw would i i be able to fully open jaw? Spasms all over body.
What defines the cramping/lockjaw sensation caused by tetanus? I have a jaw and neck ache, but no difficulty opening mouth. Last tetanus shot was 2001. Did some soil gardening 8 days ago but no cuts.
Not tetanus: Fortunately, whatever you have is not tetanus. Lockjaw is associated with the bacterial condition of tetanus and is highly serious - wa high mortality rate. It is very rare. Most physicians have never seen a case of tetanus. In the absence of a wound and absence of severe symptoms, whatever you have, it is not a concern for tetanus. This could be just associated strain from your gardening activity. ...Read moreSee 1 more doctor answer
Cut from can lid in trash bag this am. Called dr who said minor cut and no need for tetanus shot but can't recall booster last 10 yrs. Get one in am?
Yes: It would probably be better to get one, just to be on the safe side. ...Read more
Lock jaw findings: two types of "lock jaw." Open lock or closed lock. and incomplete variations of both. Closed lock is the inability to achieve maximum opening even when trying. It is usually the result of dislocation of the cartilage disc of the TMJ. Open lock occurs when the jaw locks when the mouth is wide open. Both conditions may require treatment intervention by a knowledgeable dentist or physician. ...Read more
Rock and slide jaw: This is due to dysfunction of the temporal mandibular joint just below the ear. The cartilage catches on the other side of the joint and clicks as the joint moves. Sometimes the cartilage catches the other side and the jaw locks. If this starts to happen, do not try to close the morth - but keep it open, rock the joint from side to side and yawn and usually the jaw will snap into place. ...Read more
Trismus, TMJ: 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 dental society for referrals. ...Read more
Treatment may vary: Depending on the etiology of the problem will determine what type of treatment is necessary. Some patients may have a single episode that resolved without any treatment. Other patients may sometimes require a significant course of treatment that can range from behavior modification, medication, splint therapy, physical therapy, adjustment of the occlusion (bite), and/or surgical intervention. ...Read more
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