What is TMJ and isn’t really serious? Auto accidents are one of the most common reasons why people develop TMJ, and women are more prone to develop this than men. TMJ is often described as a symptom of a whiplash injury from a rear-end collision. However, TMJ is actually its own condition, although it is widely associated with whiplash. As skilled accident lawyers, we get a fair share of clients coming in with the problem, asking about how we can help.
Unlike whiplash, this is not a soft tissue injury this is an injury directly to the temporomandibular joint. Pain in your jaw, or where the jaw hinges near your ear, then it’s possible that you have TMJ. The best thing to do is to speak with your doctor about the pain you’re experiencing and discuss the options for handling TMJ, or possibly TMD into your future.
What is TMJ?
TMJ particularly refers to the temporomandibular joint, which is the hinge that connects the jawbone to the temporal bone of your skull. This hinge is right in front of each ear and it moves your jaw up and down as well as side to side. The trouble is that after trauma you can develop temporomandibular disorders.
TMJ is the more commonly used term to describe pain or inconsistent availability from that particular joint. TMD is the actual diagnosable disorder of trauma done to that joint which impacts your daily life. It is possible for TMD to have some Associated soft tissue damage. Many dentists note that symptoms arise because of the muscles working with the jaw. However, many TMD injuries have more to do with the small parts within the joints.
Is TMJ Different from TMD?
The difference between TMJ and TMD is really who’s using the terminology. Everyday people will say TMJ when they’re referring to the pain that comes after grinding or clenching their teeth. However, when a doctor makes a diagnosis, they diagnose “TMD” which is a disorder associated with severe pain and discomfort which could be temporary or it could last for many years.
TMD can impact one or both sides of the victim’s face and is most prominent between the ages of 20 and 40. When looking at risk factors it is a possibility that both rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis contributed to developing a TMJ disorder.
Can You Get TMJ from an Accident?
After careful review, it is absolutely possible to develop a TMD as a result of whiplash injuries, and from the force of side collisions as well. When a victim’s head is forced forward or violently pushed to the side, that puts pressure on the joints of both sides of the jaw. This additional pressure can impact the joint, and result in minor damage to elements within the joint.
Not everyone who experiences TMD in an accident has a broken jaw or has distinctive trouble using their drawer right away. Typically, people are more concerned with other injuries such as broken bones, internal trauma, and brain trauma.
Common Symptoms of TMJ and TMD
Common symptoms of TMJ or TMD can include the inability to open your mouth widely, pain when moving your mouth open and shut or from side to side, and pain in the neck, face, or shoulders when speaking or chewing. It’s apparent that this type of pain which is consistent and can be severe can definitely impact someone’s life.
More serious symptoms of TMD can include hearing loss, facial swelling, and a jaw that locks. Most of the time people don’t initially notice TMJ or TMD symptoms. Many doctors will often inappropriately associate pain in the neck, shoulders, and face with Whiplash rather than TMD. Noticing that these symptoms continue into the weeks after the accident when a whiplash injury should have subsided, speak with your doctor about the possibility of TMD.
Finding Support for Injuries with an Atlanta Car Accident Attorney
Anyone experiencing pain after an auto collision should seek out the help of a medical professional. TMJ-related pain often doesn’t show up right away, and usually presents the worst symptoms as the pain associated with the whiplash fades. It’s important that you speak with your doctor about fluctuations in pain and inconsistencies in using your temporomandibular joint.
Believe that you’ve developed a temporomandibular joint disorder then it’s vital that you discuss the opportunities for financial recovery. TMD can cause a substantial amount of pain, and it can be difficult to manage if it lasts for years at a time. Contact John B. Jackson law office in Atlanta for more support throughout your auto collision claim. We are the team of reliable Atlanta Auto Collision attorneys who help victims seek out full financial recovery.