A fairly common injury that happens in a car accident is an injury to the jaw. The injury may not always appear right away and may only become a problem over the few weeks after the collision. As the defence insurance companies typically hire dental ‘experts’ to give an opinion that such injuries always manifest themselves within two months of a collision, it is extremely important to tell your family doctor, dentist and treatment providers as soon as you have any problems with your jaw or your bite. Portions of the following description are from Wikipedia:
Temporomandibular joint disorder, TMJD (in the medical literature TMD), or TMJ syndrome, is an umbrella term covering acute or chronic pain, especially in the muscles of mastication and/or inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, which connects the mandible to the skull. The primary cause is muscular hyper- or parafunction, as in the case of bruxism, with secondary effects on the oral musculoskeletal system, like various types of displacement of the disc in the temporomandibular joint. The disorder and resultant dysfunction can result in significant pain, which is the most common TMD symptom, combined with impairment of function. Because the disorder transcends the boundaries between several health-care disciplines — in particular, dentistry and neurology — there are a variety of treatment approaches.
The temporomandibular joint is susceptible to many of the conditions that affect other joints in the body, including ankylosis, arthritis, trauma, dislocations, developmental anomalies, neoplasia and reactive lesions.
Symptoms associated with TMJ disorders may be:
· Biting or chewing difficulty or discomfort
· Clicking, popping, or grating sound when opening or closing the mouth
· Dull, aching pain in the face
· Earache (particularly in the morning)
· Headache (particularly in the morning)
· Hearing loss
· Migraine (particularly in the morning)
· Jaw pain or tenderness of the jaw
· Reduced ability to open or close the mouth
· Tinnitus (ringing in the ears)
· Neck and shoulder pain
Again, if you have any of these symptoms, please tell you doctor, dentist and treatment providers.