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Doctor insights on: Why Is Tetanus Sometimes Called Lockjaw

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Why is tetanus sometimes called lockjaw?

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 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


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Is lockjaw a symptom of tetanus?

Is lockjaw a symptom of tetanus?

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

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Why is tetanus also known as lockjaw?

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 more

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What is the most common cause of tetanus or lockjaw?

What is the most common cause of tetanus or lockjaw?

You mean trismus: Trismus is a common condition caused by hyper activity of the jaw muscles. This causes them to be dire and stiff thus limiting opening. ...Read more

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What are the consequences of having tetanus (lockjaw)?

What are the consequences of having tetanus (lockjaw)?

Locked jaw: If tetanus is the cause, patient will eventually die of respiratory arrest. Patients should be intubated and monitored in icu. ...Read more

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Cuts are not deep, but because 2 bled, will i get tetanus or lockjaw?

Cuts are not deep, but because 2 bled, will i get tetanus or lockjaw?

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

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Generally how long from first tightness to lockjaw or spasms with tetanus?

Generally how long from first tightness to lockjaw or spasms with tetanus?

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 more

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If you have tetanus and a stomach sickness, what could happen if you threw up with lockjaw?

If you have tetanus and a stomach sickness, what could happen if you threw up with lockjaw?

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

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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.

See doctor: If you truly have lockjaw, you would not be alive long enough to post this question. You really need to consult your doctor. In the meanwhile , get a tdap booster now so that you won't have to even consider this possibility in the future. ...Read more

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