TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your head, located on the sides of your head just in front of the ears.
This joint is the most complex and used joint in the body, playing a vital role in allowing you to eat, speak, yawn and make facial expressions.
If you have been in an accident and are now experiencing jaw pain, the odds are that you are suffering from whiplash.
WHIPLASH AND TMJ
Whiplash is most common in accidents that involve a rear-end collision. When a car is hit from behind it is common for the driver and passengers in the car to experience whiplash from their head being “whipped” backward. This sudden and forceful “whip” can cause the muscles in the lower jaw to suffer trauma.
As the whiplash occurs the jaw is forced back and places an excessive amount of pressure on the sides of the head where the jaw attaches to the skull. Basically what is happening is that the jaw and head are experiencing opposite forces. This added pressure and forceful motion can lead to TMJ pain.
Whiplash is the most common cause of injuries involving the TMJ in automobile accidents. However, it is also possible to suffer a TMJ that can lead to jaw pain as the result of your chin or head hitting the steering wheel or dashboard.
If you have been involved in an automobile accident, it is always a good idea to seek medical treatment immediately. Regardless of whether or not you believe you have been injured. Injuries involving the temporomandibular joint can lead to serious complications that may require oral surgery to correct.
For this reason, it is imperative that you contact our office if you believe that you have sustained a TMJ injury during an accident. Read more about TMJ therapy