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Pathol the state or condition of being unable to open the mouth because of sustained contractions of the jaw muscles, caused by a form of tetanus
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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