I cannot open my mouth properly after my dental injection!

Posted in Dentist Cape Town / Articles / pain control

I cannot open my mouth properly after my dental injection!

This is called DENTAL TRISMUS or Lock-jaw and although various reasons exists for the condition the most common dentalcauses are normally after lower dental injection or dental extraction.

This leads to the limitation of jaw opening and pain after dental injection, especially in the lower jaw. It is a very common complication and in layman’s terms is due to bruising of the jaw muscle from repeated injections in the same area.
Similar to a muscle soreness that rugby players get after a match, this problem can take a long time to completely resolve and 2 to 6 weeks is usually the average recovery period.

What to do:
Treat the jaw muscle like any other muscle injury and the following works well:
1. Heat therapy
Apply a warm moist towel to the area for 20 minutes at a time to warm up the area. This you can do +- 2 X daily.

2. Use any anti- inflammatory drugs such as myprodol (take 2 capsules +- 3
times a day) as if you would when having a head ache. Myprodol or any other
anti- inflammatorily pain tablets can be bought without prescription over the counter. Keep using the tablets for 2-3 days or longereven if you feel no pain. This will help to reduce the inflammation.

3. Give yourself some physiotherapy by opening and closing the mouth as well as sideways movements of the lower jaw every 3-4 hours.

Do the following exercises:
Massage Your Jaw Muscle (Masseter Muscle)

lace your index and middle finger on your cheek bone. Run your fingers
down over your masseter muscle (in front of your ear), which ends at your
bottom jaw. As you move your fingers find points that feel tender or tight.
Massage each area in a circular direction for 30 seconds.

To keep your jaw muscles relaxed all the time, avoid clenching your jaw when
stressed or out of habit.

Exercise Your Jaw Muscles
Use a mirror for these exercises to help you do them correctly. These movements

should cause a stretching sensation but should not cause pain.
Sit or stand. Hold your head still while doing these exercises.

1. Move your jaw as described below. Hold each position for 3 seconds.
Repeat 5 times.

� Open your mouth wide.
� Move your jaw to the left.
� Move your jaw to the right

2. Repeat each position once more. This time stretches each for 30 seconds.

3. Combine these movements to move your jaw in a circle. Open and close
your mouth as you rotate your jaw left to right. Make 5 circles.

4. Repeat the circle in the other direction. Make 5 circles.

Passive stretching exercises

Place one thumb on your upper teeth in the middle of your jaw. Place
the pointer
(index) finger of your other hand on lower teeth in the middle
of your jaw. Stretch
your jaw opens by pushing your bottom jaw down
with pointer finger. Hold this
stretch for 30 seconds.

Youmay also chew sugar free gum thatis available at the local
supermarket (ORBIT DENTAL GUM works well). This will aid in helping you to do jaw movements and warming up the muscle.

You should see an improvement within 2-3 days and if not your dentist might have to prescribe an antibiotic to rule out any possible infection in the muscle.

As with any muscle injury or bruising it can take +- 6 weeks for complete
healing, but you should see a quick improvement after doing the above