The Symptoms, Causes and Treatment of Lockjaw

Now uncommon thanks to vaccines, tetanus, or lockjaw is a disorder caused by the bacteria Clostridium tetani. When this bacteria leads to an infection it causes agonizing muscle spasms. They include the spasms of the patient’s jaw that give the disease its common name. However, tetanus is not contagious and isn’t spread from one person to another.

Information. The Clostridium tetani bacteria is one of the most common bacteria on earth. It is found nearly everywhere, but especially in the soil. The bacteria enter the body through any wound in the skin, be it a laceration, an ulcer, a puncture wound or a burn. The wound does not have to be large and therefore may be overlooked. An insect bite can be an entry point for the tetanus bacteria. Once it is inside the body, the bacteria releases toxins that attack the nerves that control how the patient’s muscles contract. This leads to the spasms of tetanus. The best and easiest way to avoid tetanus is to get a booster shot when injured or a booster shot every five to 10 years or so. It is also important to see to any wound that breaks the skin.