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Decreased Mouth Opening

Decreased Mouth Opening

Decreased mouth swelling means not able to open the jaws fully, resulting in many problems like difficulty in eating, keeping healthy oral hygiene, swallowing food, and speaking.

It could happen to anyone who has undergone surgery or radiations treatment to the head and neck or oral surgery to remove wisdom tooth and or people who had neck and head cancers that involve structures related to the mouth.

It is also most commonly seen in person consuming Gutka or other form of oral tobacco


These are specific causes that cause decreased mouth opening –

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD)

This joint is present on either side of the jaws connecting it to the skull, allowing the movement of jaws like opening and shutting of mouth when there is dysfunctioning of this joint, then that causes decreased mouth opening.

Oral surgery

When people feel uncomfortable with their wisdom teeth (the last molars on each side of the jaw), they opt for oral surgeries, due to which decreased mouth opening can occur.

Radiations from head and throat cancer

When the radiations of cancer involve the jaws, it could certainly lead to decreased mouth opening.

Submucus Fibrosis

This is found in people consuming gutka or tobacco leading to fibrosis of submucous lining of mouth and resulting in decreased mouth opening and tightness inside the mouth.

Decreased mouth opening could be treated. Keep in mind that the earlier the treatment, the better the recovery. In later stages, surgery is advised. 


Here are some symptoms that will help in identifying the problem of decreased mouth opening.

  1. Whenever a person feels difficulty in mouth opening activities like biting on an apple or brushing teeth.
  2. A person inability to chew or swallowing food items
  3. Continuous pain in the jaw even when there is no movement of the mouth.
  4. Cramping in jaws
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