Limited mouth opening in oral submucous fibrosis: reasons, ramifications, and remedies

Mohit Sharma, Raghu Radhakrishnan

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)


Limited mouth opening (LMO) in oral submucous fibrosis (OSF) has been attributed to both the submucosal and muscle fibrosis (MF). While reflectory trismus was proposed before as an auxiliary mechanism by another group, the stretch-mediated muscle damage (MSD), histopathological changes in blood vessels (such as endothelial dysfunction, endothelial hypertrophy, and endarteritis obliterans), and upregulated anaerobic isoforms of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) have been proposed by us as complementary events leading to MF. Additionally, the amount of hypoxia-mediated upregulation of anaerobic isoforms of LDH determines the extent of MF. Radiotherapy (RT)-mediated release of reactive oxygen species causes vascular damage thereby worsening hypoxia. While the alteration in LDH levels secondary to hypoxia enhances fibrosis, RT worsens it. Oral squamous cell carcinoma occurring in the background of OSF is an absolute contraindication for RT as it augurs unfavorable prognosis. An algorithm to demonstrate this with evidence is clearly depicted. The role of HIF-1α in the progression of OSF and its malignant transformation, and the consideration of hyperbaric oxygen therapy as a therapeutic remedy in OSF are underscored.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)424-430
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Oral Pathology and Medicine
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 01-07-2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology
  • Cancer Research
  • Periodontics


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