Having difficulty opening your mouth fully is called trismus. Trismus is a common side-effect of head and neck cancer treatment (surgery or radiation).
- A normal mouth opening is 35mm and larger. This is measured between your front teeth (incisors)
- Trismus is defined as any mouth opening smaller than 35mm
- Trismus can impact your ability to eat, speak, receive good oral care and dental check-ups, yawn, laugh and kiss
- Most people can place their three fingers side by side between their upper and lower teeth. This is a quick check that you can do to see if you might need further assessment
What Can You Do?
- A Speech-Language Pathologist can help assess and create a customized treatment plan to improve your jaw movement
- Speak to your doctor if you suspect that your ability to open your mouth widely is reduced
- It is important to seek professional advice before trying to treat your trismus. Stretching too much too soon can cause further damage