Car accidents and the pain of TMJ injuries

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Brain Injury |

Car accidents can and often do lead to permanent injury and disability. In many cases, the victims of these crashes may be left with something known as a TMJ injury. This injury can be devastating for victims and have a very negative impact on the rest of their lives.

Temporomandibular Joint Injuries

While TMJ injuries are not something well-known to the public, they are quite common in car accident victims. TMJ, in this case, stands for temporomandibular joint. This term specifically refers to the joints that connect the jaw to the upper part of your skull. There are two of these joins, one on each side of the jaw, and they can certainly be damaged by the whiplash sustained from a high impact auto collision.

TMJ Symptoms

Seeing as the temporomandibular joints are used in everything from chewing food to speaking, TMJ injuries can have a big impact on a person’s life. Symptoms of such injuries include:

  • jaw pain
  • tenderness of the jaw
  • ear pain
  • painful chewing
  • facial pain
  • pain when talking
  • lockjaw

If you have experienced any of these symptoms after a car accident, you should seek medical treatment immediately.

Causes of TMJ

Car accidents can cause TMJ due to whiplash. In specific, the injury can occur due to three specific occurrences. This includes when the disc has moved out of alignment in the jaw, the cartilage in the TMJ has been damaged, or the joint itself is damaged by the impact. Due to the fact this kind of injury can make talking or eating extremely painful, surgical intervention and extensive therapy may be required for patients who suffer from the ailment.

Overall, there are many ways that the human body can be damaged during a car accident. The whiplash felt during such an impact can certainly damage the jaw. TMJ injuries are serious and can greatly inhibit a person’s quality of life. This is why immediate medical treatment should always be sought after a serious car accident, even if you are able to walk away from the car. You may not be as well as you first assumed.