TMJ Injury After an Accident: What You Should Know
By Grace Hancock
Has an accident left you with an aching jaw, neck, or face? Even the slightest damage to the joints in your jaw can cause you a world of pain. When someone else’s negligence leaves your jaw injured, you need the help of a personal injury attorney to help you pick up the pieces.
In this article, we discuss the nature of a TMJ injury, how one may occur after an accident, and how TMJ injuries are treated. Finally, we tell you how an attorney can help you in your recovery.
What Is TMJ?
TMJ refers to your temporomandibular joints which connect your jawbone to your skull. It acts as a sliding hinge and allows you to control your jaw movements.
How Does a TMJ Injury Happen in an Auto Accident?
A TMJ injury can occur when a person experiences whiplash. Whiplash happens when an individual strikes their jaw against the steering wheel, dash, or side window. Such an injury can also happen when a person’s head is whipped backward and forwards very quickly. TMJ injuries often occur in rear-end collisions or head-on collisions.
Common symptoms include:
- Tenderness or pain in the jaw
- Pain or pressure around the ear
- Discomfort when talking or yawning
- Clicking in the jaw
Seek medical attention if you have persistent pain or soreness in your jaw, neck, or face. Your doctor, your dentist, or a TMJ specialist can discuss possible causes and treatments for your problem.
How a TMJ Injury Is Diagnosed
If you or your doctor or dentist suspect you have a TMJ injury, you may need:
- Dental X-rays to examine your teeth and jaw
- CT scan to provide detailed images of the bones involved in the joint
- MRI to reveal problems with the joint’s disk or surrounding soft tissue
TMJ arthroscopy is sometimes used in the diagnosis of a TMJ injury or disorder. During TMJ arthroscopy, your doctor inserts a small thin tube (cannula) into the joint space, and a small camera (arthroscope) is then inserted to view the area and to help determine a diagnosis.
In some cases, the symptoms of a TMJ injury may go away without treatment. If your symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend a variety of treatment options, often more than one to be done at the same time.
Treatment options for a TMJ injury could include:
- Prescribed medication
- A bite guard or night guard prescribed by a dentist
- Surgical intervention (in more extreme cases)
How a Personal Injury Attorney Helps Your Case
If someone else’s wrongdoing has left you with a TMJ injury, reach out to a personal injury attorney as soon as possible. An experienced Tampa car accident lawyer will be able to help you to understand the nature of your TMJ after your accident as well as make sure that you receive the medical treatment necessary to make a complete recovery. Attorneys Mike and Claire Hancock have spent decades building up relationships with trusted doctors throughout the Tampa Bay area and will be able to get you the best care.
Contact us online or call us at (813) 915-1110 to schedule your free case consultation today.