One type of injury that may seem unusual but is rather common amongst car accident victims is a TMJ injury. TMJ (Temporomandibular joint dysfunction) is a condition that can be caused by a few different things, including car accidents. A TMJ injury can result in chronic pain in the face, jaw, neck and shoulders. Other symptoms may include headaches and earaches, and possibly even hearing loss. Failing to properly treat a TMJ injury, especially after a serious car accident, can cause additional long-term problems.
TMJ Injuries Explained
TMJ involves some type of trauma to the temporomandibular joints. These joints are located on both sides of the head where the jaw attaches to the skull. The joints are necessary for speaking, chewing and yawning. If you suffer an injury to these joints, it can impact your entire face. Although pain caused by this condition is often temporary for some people, a TMJ can last for years in others.
Trauma From Car Accidents Causing TMJ
Car accidents are one of the most common causes of TMJ. TMJ generally results when car accident victims suffer whiplash injuries in read-end collisions. When a car is hit from the back, the force of the accident can cause the driver or passengers to jolt forward and then violently backward as the forces subside. As a result, the force pushes the jaw open and causes added pressure to the joints on either side of the jaw. This additional pressure can cause TMJ as well.
Car accident victims can also suffer from TMJ if they hit their jaws on the dashboard or steering wheel or a deploying airbag.
Common Symptoms and Signs of TMJ
There are many signs and symptoms of TMJ. If you or a loved on has been involved in a car accident and experience any of the following symptoms, you should immediately see a doctor:
- Inability to open the mouth widely or pain when doing so
- Pain in the shoulders, neck or face when speaking, chewing or opening the mouth
- Difficulty with chewing or biting
- Popping or grating noises in the jaw
- Hearing loss, earaches or dizziness
- Facial swelling along the side of the face
- Jaw that locks
Medical doctors and dentists can both diagnose TMJ conditions. Most accident victims generally start by seeing their dentists because of their jaw pain.
Call an Orange County Car Accident Lawyer Today!
The legal team at the Law Offices of Samer Habbas is dedicated to helping our injured accident clients reach the best monetary settlement when they are involved in any type of accidents.
If you or a loved one has been involved in an accident and suffers from the symptoms of TMJ, our experienced Los Angeles personal injury attorneys are available to personally review your case. Call us at 1-888-848-5048 to schedule a free, complimentary consultation with our legal team today.