The Hidden Injury In Motor Vehicle Accidents- TMJ

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TMJ: The Hidden Injury in Motor Vehicle Accidents

Motor Vehicle Accidents (MVA) can cause various injuries, and one often overlooked is Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Dysfunction. The TMJ connects your jaw to your skull and helps you talk, chew, and move your jaw. If you have been in an MVA and experience jaw pain or discomfort, you might have TMJ issues. Dr. Aaron Workman, a member of one of Lexington’s highest rated auto injury  facilities, explains that this is a frequent finding often seen resulting from MVAs and offers more information about this hidden injury and its effects.

TMJ dysfunction affects the joints and muscles controlling jaw movement. MVAs can strain the TMJ when the jaw experiences forceful movement due to the impact of the collision. TMJ dysfunction shows various signs, not always linked to the MVA. Common symptoms include:

  1. Jaw Pain: Feeling pain in one or both sides of the jaw, and sometimes reaching the temples, ears, or neck.
  2. Clicking or Popping: Hearing clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing the mouth.
  3. Limited Jaw Movement: Difficulty fully opening or closing the mouth.
  4. Lockjaw: Severe cases might result in the jaw locking in an open or closed position.
  5. Headaches: Experiencing tension headaches or migraines.
  6. Ear Pain or Ringing: TMJ problems may cause ear pain or ringing sounds (tinnitus).
  7. Facial Pain: Feeling discomfort in the cheeks or around the eyes.
  8. Neck and Shoulder Pain: Experiencing pain in the neck and shoulders.

TMJ injuries often go unnoticed after an MVA because their symptoms can be mistaken for other conditions. People may not seek medical attention, assuming the pain is stress-related or due to other causes. Additionally, TMJ issues may not appear on X-rays, making diagnosis challenging. I recently had a patient walk into the office with multiple injuries and both TMJ joints popping and sore. For them, this pain was secondary to their other injuries. They also presented chewing gum so this was all addressed during their exam and what they could do for self-help and what we would do in the office.

If you experience any of these symptoms after an MVA, the doctors at Chambers Medical Group can help. The good news is that TMJ dysfunction is often treatable, especially when diagnosed early. Treatment options may include some type of pain management using over-the-counter pain relievers to manage discomfort, applying ice for relief, eating soft foods to limit stress on the jaw, avoiding chewing gum, easy jaw exercises for mobility, nightguards to prevent grinding, therapy, and stress management.

TMJ dysfunction is a hidden injury that can result from Motor Vehicle Accidents. If you experience jaw pain, clicking, limited jaw movement, headaches, or related symptoms after an MVA, come see us at Chambers Medical Group or follow up with a healthcare professional. Early steps lead to better outcomes and with proper care you can manage TMJ dysfunction and prevent it from affecting your daily life.

— This article is written by Aaron Workman, DC, one of the members of Chambers Medical Group’s team of car accident chiropractors who offer a variety of treatments and therapies ranging from diagnostic testing to various soft tissue therapies for car accidents and injuries in Kentucky.




















































Have you been in a car accident? If you or somebody you know has been in a car accident, be sure that you seek medical attention from a car accident doctor or car accident chiropractor to treat your injuries. Visit Chambers Medical Group  to receive world-class medical treatment for your injuries.

Chambers Medical Group has car accident medical clinics in the following locations:

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