trismus(redirected from Trisma)
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a tonic contraction of the masticatory muscles; a form of spasm. Trismus is a characteristic symptom of tetanus, and it frequently accompanies inflammations in the region of the lower jaw and masticatory muscles; it also occurs in cases of meningitis, cerebral hemorrhage, and various other disorders. If moderate in degree, trismus allows partial opening of the mouth; in severe cases (lockjaw), the teeth are clenched together and the patient cannot open his mouth to eat or drink. Trismus is treated by treating the disease that causes it. The patient is given food and liquids by hypodermic injection until the symptom is relieved.