TMJ Pain After Auto Injury – Hazelwood Chiropractor

TMJ Pain33% of victims can suffer TMJ pain after an auto injury

Researchers in Sweden stated TMJ pain is common after auto injury: “Our results suggest that one in three people who are exposed to whiplash trauma is at risk of developing delayed TMJ symptoms that may require clinical management.“  (1)

The study compared 60 patients that suffered whiplash type trauma and were experiencing neck symptoms. These patients were initially seen in the emergency room and then 59 were followed up with on year later. The results demonstrated that the development of TMJ pain was five times higher in the injured group than those not injured.

TMJ or temporomandibular joint is located just in front of the ear on each sie and is the joint that acts as a hinge, making it possible to open or close your mouth. Each TMJ is a ball and socket with a disc that acts as a cushion during movement.

TMJ pain after an auto injury is typically due to injury of this disc or the surrounding musculature. In a typical rear end impact, the victim’s head is thrown backwards striking the head rest. The TMJ is injured when the lower jaw drops, causing the mouth to open wide very rapidly. This then produces a torquing or abnormal shifting of the joint. This results in damage to either the disc, strain of the muscles or a sprain of the small ligaments supporting the joint.

Initially, much TMJ pain after an auto injury is missed diagnosed as headaches or upper neck pain. A proper history and examination is essential for prompt treatment. Once diagnosed, many conditions of TMJ pain can be effectively treated by chiropractic care. In some rare instances, referral to a dental specialist may be necessary.

If you have been injured, call Dr. Schmaltz at (314) 731-4383 or CLICK TO CALL NOW

As a 1984 graduate of Life Chiropractic College, Dr. Martin Schmaltz has years of helping those who have been injured in auto accidents. He has extensive training and study in how the injury happens as well as the specific treatments and documentation to help his patients. He has a great working relationship with many attorneys in the St Louis area and is know for his detailed notes and diagnosis of the injured patient.

(1) J Am Dent Assoc. 2007 Nov;138(11):1426.