Some of our patients who come in with facial pain cannot open their mouths further than 15mm. This is TMJ problem that we see commonly see. It is painful and limits patients ability to eat, chew, and speak. Every case is different, however, when this occurs the first thing that needs to be done is to determine if this is:
1) A displaced disc issue
2) Myositis: which is muscle spasms
If the this is a displaced disc, the patient will usually be able to only move the jaw sidewise to the affected side. If it is myositis, they will typically have normal sidewise movements but limited opening movement. Either way, TMJ treatment is indicated. However, the treatments will be different. Correct diagnosis is important to determine the correct treatment.