TMJ is a disorder characterized by discomfort where the jawbone and the skull connect, also known as the temporomandibular joint. This unique joint is positioned on both sides of the head, just in front of the ears. TMJ results in significant amounts of pain associated with jaw mobility including chewing, yawning, and speaking.
What are Some Symptoms of TMJ?
Include sensitive pain in the jaw area, face, and around the ear; a clicking sensation when moving the jaw open and closed; and limited ability when opening the mouth up wide. When left untreated, TMJ may also contribute to headaches. Also, it can cause an uneven bite mark. But in some cases, the joint will lock. Hence, it can disable a person from opening and closing one’s mouth.
A blow or impact to the head during an automobile accident is one of the most common causes of TMJ. If an accident victim’s physician or dentist believes they are suffering from a TMJ injury, the medical professional may decide to order diagnostic imaging tests. And these include X-rays, CT scans, or MRI’s.
It should be known that a victim doesn’t necessarily have to encounter a physical blow to the head to sustain a TMJ injury. The victim’s who sustain whiplash from a car accident possess a higher risk of developing TMJ. Researchers have discovered that more than one-third of those hurt in a rear-end accident developed TMJ when evaluated one year after the crash.
The study, published in the August issue of the Journal of the American Dental Association, analyzed 60 patients who were in rear-end car accidents.After all, these tend to be the most common type of car accident. Auto accident victims were evaluated right after the collision and then again one year later.
Data showed that those who sustained whiplash in a car accident were five times more likely to develop chronic TMJ pain and throbbing, than those in the control group who were not injured. Surprisingly, after one year, about 34% of those who suffered initially from whiplash had TMJ symptoms. And this was compared with just 7% among the non-injured control group. TMJ often goes undiagnosed or even referenced as an area of pain in the physician’s treatment notes. Thus, it is essential to inform the physician of all areas of pain.
In addition to an automobile accident, those who participate in athletics are also at a higher risk for trauma-related TMJ injury. Sports such as wrestling and hockey typically result in whiplash-type motions which may, over time, evolve into pain and soreness of the jaw, or ears.
If you suffer from TMJ, there are numerous treatment options available. Treatments may include physical therapy, chiropractic adjustments, and even biofeedback. If you have experienced a TMJ injury as a result of an auto accident, call the injury law attorneys at Dolman Law Group for a free consultation and case evaluation.