The temporomandibular joint or TMJ is basically that hinge where your jaw connects to the skull. It is extremely flexible, allowing for motion up and down as well as side to side. You can locate it easily by placing your fingers directly in front of your ears. Open and close your jaw and you’ll feel the TMJ in action.
Your temporomandibular joint is sensitive. The bones are thin, and connected to a lot of muscles. Damage to nerve, bone or muscle can affect your TMJ. This is especially true if you’ve been in a car accident or otherwise suffered whiplash or any injury to the head, jaw and neck.
TMJ disorders can cause severe pain and discomfort that can last many years. It can interfere with your quality of living, and make it difficult for you to do basic things like eat or pay attention to sounds.
According to WebMD.com here are some common symptoms of a TMJ disorder:
- Pain or tenderness in the face, jaw joint area, neck and shoulders, and in or around the ear when you chew, speak, or open your mouth wide
- Limited ability to open the mouth very wide
- Jaws that get “stuck” or “lock” in the open- or closed-mouth position
- Clicking, popping, or grating sounds in the jaw joint when opening or closing the mouth (which may or may not be accompanied by pain) or chewing
- A tired feeling in the face
- Difficulty chewing or a sudden uncomfortable bite — as if the upper and lower teeth are not fitting together properly
- Swelling on the side of the face
- May occur on one or both sides of the face
Other common symptoms of TMD include toothaches, headaches, neck aches, dizziness, earaches, hearing problems, upper shoulder pain, and ringing in the ears (tinnitis).
Like all injuries, TMJ Disorder (TMD) can severely impact your life. If you are experiencing TMD due to a car accident, or a heavy blow to the head, you have the right to fair compensation to help you recover.
Doctors Ignoring TMD
Many doctors and attorneys neglect TMD in their examinations. If you have problems with your TMJ, you should consult with a qualified dental professional, who can help you properly diagnose and treat the disorder. The expense of your treatment and recovery should be paid by the person responsible for the injury.
TMD often accompanies whiplash in car accident victims, but is frequently overlooked because both the patient and the doctor only pay attention to the more severe whiplash symptoms. However, over time, the TMD symptoms can emerge. As time passes, it’s important you recognize and properly treat all of your symptoms.
Victims of car accidents have the right to fair compensation for their injuries, including TMJ injuries. When the insurance companies wont pay, or downplay the seriousness of your pain and injuries, you need to consult a qualified personal injury attorney. Only your attorney will know how to stand up for your rights in court.