Vehicle Collision TMJ Injuries

Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) is a serious facial injury that has many causes, including trauma due to a vehicle accident.

TMJ Injury Causes

TMJ is caused by damage to the temporomandibular joint, located at the point where the jaw attaches to the skull. This joint is like a hinge, connecting the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull. It allows movement of the jaw up and down and side-to-side, assisting with eating, speaking, and making facial expressions.

Acute jaw trauma is a leading cause of TMJ injuries, and it frequently results from vehicle accidents. This trauma may be due to the head or jaw striking an airbag or the steering wheel, or by whiplash injuries. Collision forces can stretch or tear the ligaments and connective tissues in one or both TMJs. Stress resulting from a traumatic accident may also cause TMJ injuries, when the victim tightens his facial and jaw muscles or grinds his teeth.

TMJ Injury Symptoms

Due to the swelling and discomfort caused by TMJ, even basic tasks such as eating and talking can be painful and difficult. TMJ injuries sometimes result in immediate pain, but symptoms are often much more subtle. Facial pain, joint pain, earaches, and headaches may come and go, or only flare up at certain times, such as while eating. Pain can be temporary, or it may persist for years.

TMJ injuries may cause any of these symptoms:

  • Locking jaw
  • Pain when biting and chewing
  • Popping noises in the jaw
  • Swelling along the side of the face
  • Pain when opening the mouth

TMJ Injury Treatment

A number of different treatment options are available for TMJ, including:

  • Heat and ice applications
  • Stress management techniques
  • Mouthguards
  • Orthodontic surgery
  • Jaw and face massages
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Pain medication

Receiving Compensation

If you’ve suffered from TMJ injuries due to a vehicle accident, you need an experienced personal injury attorney to help you receive the compensation you deserve. To discuss your claim, contact the law offices of Steve M. Lee, P.C., by using the form on this page.

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