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ORAL SURGERY: CASE REPORT
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Upper third molar causing mechanical obstruction of mouth opening: A true but rare cause of trismus


 Department of Oral Surgery, Bristol Dental Hospital, Bristol, UK

Correspondence Address:
Rajpreet Kaur Sondh,
Bristol Dental Hospital, Lower Maudlin Street, Bristol, BS1 2LY
UK
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

Trismus is a term used to describe limited mouth opening or limited jaw opening due to reduced mobility of the mandible. It is often defined as a maximum interincisal opening of 36 mm or less. It is a symptom rather than a disease and can present in both primary and secondary care with a multifactorial etiology. The case describes a rare cause of trismus which was in fact due to an erupting third molar, causing a true mechanical obstruction. This may be easily missed or misdiagnosed leading to unnecessary investigations, use of resource, and potential anxiety for the patient. The case highlights the importance of considering all potential etiological factors when making a diagnosis, without excluding the obvious.


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