Dentist for Jaw Pain After a Car Accident

Car Accident Attorney

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, also known as TMJ, can occur after a traumatic accident affecting a person’s jaw. For example, if you were recently in a car accident and your head hit the steering wheel of the car, smashing your jaw, you could experience severe pain and lasting symptoms. If you were in a car accident and your dentist has diagnosed you with TMJ, you may be wondering how a dentist can help you with your injury. Dentists have helped many patients in these circumstances before and can walk you through the symptoms of TMJ pain and the type of treatment we recommend. Further, you may be working with an attorney if the car accident you were involved in was the result of someone else’s negligence. When this is the case, let your dentist know how you got your injury so they can write up the necessary documentation for your legal case.

What is TMJ?

Most people who have TMJ think that it must be the result of previous dental issues, not necessarily from a traumatic event like a car accident. However, understanding what TMJ is can help you understand how you got it and what the best treatment is. Your mouth has a temporomandibular joint and this is essentially a “hinge” that attaches your temporal bones and your jaw together. It is necessary to have this in working order so you can do regular, routine things, such as yawning, chewing, talking, and moving your jaw around. When you are not suffering from TMJ, you should be able to do any of these activities without pain or discomfort. However, the symptoms of TMJ are often confused with arthritis.

Common Symptoms

  •     Clicking of the jaw
  •     Pain when moving your jaw
  •     Swelling
  •     Inflammation
  •     Your jaw getting stuck

Do I need to hit something with my jaw to have TMJ?

No. Many of our patients are surprised to learn that you do not have to hit the steering wheel, the airbag, or another object in the car to experience TMJ pain. In fact, it is quite common to get TMJ from a car accident without your body hitting something. When you get into a car accident, your body naturally goes into different positions depending on how your car was hit. As your body or head move from side to side or back and forth during impact, the joints, ligaments, and muscles in your body get pulled in different directions. The temporomandibular joint is one of these. Whiplash, for example, is one of the most common causes of TMJ after a car accident.

How will I know if it is TMJ or something else?

The best thing you can do for yourself and your healing is to see your dentist immediately following a car accident. We can assess the damage and determine if it is TMJ or another injury that is causing you pain.

If you are experiencing the symptoms listed above after a car accident, please speak with dentist now.

 

Resources:

Wikipedia, Dental Care

Alliance Dentistry, Cosmetic Dentistry Morrisville