Trismus refers to a person’s inability to normally open his or her mouth. Trismus can occur as a symptom due to tumor ingrowth or it can occur postsurgical following the treatment for head and neck cancer. Radiation-induced trismus is also a relatively common oral complication. This review aimed at reviewing the etiopathogenesis of trismus in patients with head and neck cancer. Of the 16 publications included after final screening, of which one was a nonrandomized control trial, one a randomized control trial, 6 prospective cohort studies, and 8 retrospective cohort studies. Among them, 6 articles addressed the possible mechanism for trismus related to tumor ingrowth, 8 articles suggested the likely reason for trismus in patients who had undergone radiation therapy and 2 articles addressed the postsurgical cause for trismus. This review highlights the possible involvement of infratemporal fossa as a predetermining factor for developing trismus related to tumor extension. The molecular mechanism of radiation-induced fibrosis is well studied in the literature.
Radhu Raj, Thankappan, K., Chandrashekar Janakiram, Iyer, S., and Anil Mathew, “Etiopathogenesis of Trismus in Patients With Head and Neck Cancer: An Exploratory Literature Review”, Craniomaxillofacial Trauma & Reconstruction, p. 1943387520917518, 2020.