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Why my husband can’t open his mouth wide open to eat -3rd week of red?

hsnmp1978
Posts: 44
Joined: Feb 2013

Why my husband can’t open his mouth wide open to eat -3rd week of red

As I posted in my first posing that my husband is going with 7weeks of radiation and beside other side effects he having problem opening his mouth to eat!!

Is this normal?

What I can do to help?

Thanks,

Hetal

George_Baltimore's picture
George_Baltimore
Posts: 303
Joined: Jun 2009

it is normal but, perhaps Pat (longtermsurvivor) will chime in and explain his method of stretching the jaw muscles with tongue depressors.

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

Did anyone show you some exercises that should be done daily? Radiation can cause trismus and ere is no warning, it just comes on out of the blue it seems. Every day from here on out have your husband try this: place the thumb( from either hand) on the upper teeth at the edge. Have him place his pointer finger on the lower teeth edge and wedge his jaw open as far as he comfortably can. He should hold this position for 6-10 seconds and he should do this ten times in a row and do these sets a few times every single day! You have to be very careful because if trismus sets in it can be permanent.
At this point with exercise he should be fine but it is important to jump on this now.
I spent years working in the dental field and I've seen a few cases of non reversible trismus and it's no fun.
Good luck and let us know if you have any further questions.
Billie

hsnmp1978
Posts: 44
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you but is there any way I can see picture of this Exercises!

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3745
Joined: Mar 2012

but couldn't find any.  The obect of what Billie is saying is that the muscles have to be stretched....using his fingers he can apply more pressure on stretching those muscles.  He needs to put two fingers in his mouth, and then try to spread his fingers....putting pressure up and down on his teeth.....don't force until it's ultra painful, but he should feel the tightness in his jaw when he does it.  Keep doing it with the two fingers everyday, several times a day....until he can squeeze in three fingers.  Also opening his mouth....holding it, then closing it.....stretching the muscles. 

He might also want to start exercising his neck.....turn all the way to the right....hold it.....turn all the way to the left hold it.....all the way back....hold it....and forward, and hold.....this will keep the muscles in his neck stretching and working.

Ask the Rad doc about exercises for his mouth!!  They KNOW about this, but they seem to forget to bring it up unless it gets mentioned.  They might have a hand out with the exercises illustrated.

p

Billie67's picture
Billie67
Posts: 834
Joined: Jul 2012

Picture this.....if you were to put your biting edges(incisal edges) of your upper teeth together with the incisal edges of your lower teeth....those edges are where you put your thumb(upper) and index finger(lower) and wedge the jaw open if you will.
Or you can do as Phrannie said and with two fingers side by side, open your mouth and make sure it's open wide enough to put both fingers in that opening. When that is doable add a 3rd finger and so on. You can also do it with tongue depressors but not everyone has access to those but most of us have our fingers :-)
Please ask the rad onc to show you these exercises, they or the dental oncologist should have shown you those at the beginning of treatment.
Billie

Ingrid K's picture
Ingrid K
Posts: 811
Joined: Mar 2011

Hetal

Try Google and search "Exercises for trismus".  There are a few pdf files with very detailed pictures that show the correct jaw exercises and exactly what Phrannie and Billie are saying about the finger exercises.

If I were a bit more computer literate, I would add a link for you.  The link to Sloan-Kettering was easiest to understand.

Good Luck !

 

 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8088
Joined: Sep 2009

Here is one of the links my bud IK referenced...

Trismus

Best,
John

Ingrid K's picture
Ingrid K
Posts: 811
Joined: Mar 2011

that's the one John -- thanks Smile

It really shows how to do the exercises...including exactly how to place the finger.

I wish I had seen this about 2 years ago -- give these a try, Hetal.

 

phrannie51's picture
phrannie51
Posts: 3745
Joined: Mar 2012

I looked last night but all I could find were the "official reports" on exercising the jaw...

p

pingsuen
Posts: 20
Joined: Jan 2013

Thanks john, was reading this and i know my husband will need this one too..i even print it also..will try this today since my husband than his  treatment 2 days ago.

 

Aloha, angie

 

               

hsnmp1978
Posts: 44
Joined: Feb 2013

Thank you everyone for your help ...this is really big help..and I ask doctor and he knew nothing!!

 

Skiffin16's picture
Skiffin16
Posts: 8088
Joined: Sep 2009

There's a difference in diagnosing & treating for the disease and side effects, compared to those whom actually go through them....

JG

Mikemetz's picture
Mikemetz
Posts: 346
Joined: Nov 2011

When my trismus first came on I was steered toward getting a dyna-splint, which I found didn't help much and hurt like hell.  I agree with those who tell your husband to do some manual stretching exercises on a regular basis.  In my case it took a long time, but eventually my jaw loosened up to the point that I can eat most foods without "nibbling" at them.  Your husband just has to give it time.  He might never get a full range of motion back in his jaw, but it should improve from where he is now.

Mike

 

backachedp
Posts: 124
Joined: Oct 2009

Before my Husband was Diagnosed they kept saying he had TMJ as he could barley open his mouth and speak I don't think he could even have one finger in his mouth but with the ENT showing him how to do the execises he can get 3 fingers in now.  I wish they would have been able to diagnose him so much sooner it took almost 2 years of running to Dr's, Dentist's etc before one Dr finally said I can't help you and referred him to the University of MN ENT and on that 1st appt he did Biopsies right there in the room we had no idea what was comming...within a few minutes he said I am saorry you have Cancer...all that wasted time with others saying TMJ one Dr said take 20 Asprin a day....thankfully he is still NED but it's Scan time again this next week...the Ent did say he is 3 years out and it would be rather rare for it to come back this late in the game.  Still the anxiety each Scan...hope things are better for your Husband and make sure he does the exercises relgiously.  They really truly help.

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