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Dental and Oral Health (Adults)

Unable to fully open mouth

02/29/2008

Question:

For two days now, I have been unable to fully open my mouth. I can open it about an inch before severe pain develops. If I try to fully open my mouth, it feels as though my teeth are going to pop out or my jaw is going to snap, the stiffness and pain is that intense. The pain originates around my upper left wisdom tooth. That wisdom tooth has been half exposed for a while now. The pain doesn`t seem to come from the tooth, but somewhere around it. The pain feels like a cross between...having wisdom teeth pulled, repeated biting to the cheek, and sometimes like having a sore throat (but in that area, rather than the throat). It hurts for me to chew food or if I apply too much pressure to the area (like resting my that side of the face on my hand). I am unable to see a dentist for 2 weeks, so please help me! Thank you very much.

Answer:

You may need to have your wisdom tooth (teeth) removed.  It is also possible that you are having a problem with your jaw muscles and/or jaw joint.  I suggest you consult your local dentist.

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Response by:

David Lee Hall, DDS David Lee Hall, DDS
Clinical Associate Professor of Primary Care
College of Dentistry
The Ohio State University