Article Review  on Trismus incidence and impact on quality of life in head and neck cancer patients (2013)
This study looked at the impact of trismus (restricted mouth opening) on head and neck cancer (HNC) patients and their daily life activities. During the study HNC patients were evaluated before and after oncological treatment to assess the prevalence of trismus and to assess the impact trismus has on health-related quality of life (HRQL).

Maximum interincisal opening (MIO)

  • MIO of less than or equal to 35 mm indicating trismus.
  • Measured multiple times before/after oncological treatment for 1 year.
Health-related quality of life (HRQL)
  • Assessed with patient reported outcome questionnaires pre-oncological treatment and then post-treatment at the 3, 6 and 12 month marks.


  • 9% trismus incidence pre-oncological treatment
  • 38% trismus incidence 6-month post-treatment
  • 28% trismus incidence 1-year post-treatment
Quality of Life (6-12 months post-treatment)
  • Decreased mouth opening
  • Jaw related problems
  • Eating limitations
  • Muscular tension
  • Dry mouth
  • Swallowing and pain
  • Anxiety and depression both pre- and post-treatment.
Have Trismus?   Getting treated for Oral or Nasal Cancer?
Craniorehab offers jaw motion rehab devices including the OraStretch press that provide stretching and passive motion of the jaw.  Or visit our Trismus information page to learn more about the definition, causes, symptoms, diagnosis, prevention and treatment of trismus. 

To read the full study click this link:

Nina Pauli, Joakim Johnson, Caterina Finizia & Paulin Andréll (2013) The incidence of trismus and long-term impact on health-related quality of life in patients with head and neck cancer, Acta Oncologica, 52:6, 1137-1145, DOI: 10.3109/0284186X.2012.744466

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