If your jaw hurts after a fall, a blow to the fact, or a whiplash injury — don’t ignore it. You may be experiencing the first symptoms of a TMJ disorder (TMD).
The longer the condition goes untreated, the worse it can get — and the longer it may take to treat.
Understanding Your Temporomandibular Joint
The temporomandibular joint is the place where your lower jawbone connects to your skull. The TMJ complex includes the bones of the jaw and skull, the cartilage and other soft tissues that cushion the joint, and the muscles and tendons that move the jaw and hold it in place.
Any one of the structures within the TMJ complex can become inflamed or strained, resulting in pain, difficulty chewing, strange sounds like clicking or popping when you move your jaw, as well as other symptoms. These problems are collectively referred to as temporomandibular disorder.
How an Injury May Cause a TMJ Disorder
A TMJ injury may fall into one of the following two broad categories:
- A blow to the head or jaw
Symptoms of TMD may manifest after a blow to the side of the head, such as can occur from a punch or slap, or a blow to the jaw, such as might result if you fell down and struck your chin on the ground. Sudden impacts such as this can cause several types of injuries that can lead to TMJ symptoms:
- Forcing your upper and lower teeth together, putting pressure on the TMJ
- Dislocating your jaw, which can force the joint out of alignment and stretch the soft tissues of the TMJ complex
- Fracturing or otherwise injuring the top portion of the mandible bone, known as the condyle
Whiplash is caused by forceful forward-and-back movement of the head and neck. It is commonly caused by rear-end auto collisions. Whiplash can cause the bone between the skull and neck to shift out of alignment, which in turn affects the jaw. Symptoms of whiplash may not show up for hours or even days after the accident.
When to Call Pasadena Pain Management
It’s never a bad idea to seek medical attention after an accident, even in the absence of symptoms, just to ensure there’s no damage. If you do have symptoms such as pain or difficulty moving your jaw, call us at Pasadena Pain Management as soon as possible.
We can offer treatment options to help alleviate your TMJ pain and other bothersome symptoms. To schedule your complimentary consultation, contact us online, or give us a call: 616-773-8333.
About Pasadena Pain Management
Pasadena Pain Management offers pain management treatment Pasadena, CA. Our office is conveniently located with extended hours to meet your needs. At Pasadena Pain Management, we offer the exclusive TruDenta treatment therapy — a highly specialized form of care that involves cutting-edge dental technology, without needles or injections. Patient satisfaction is our top priority and we strive to provide the exceptional, affordable pain management care and personal touch that lead to lasting relationships. A smiling patient is our greatest reward and we look forward to keeping our patients happy and pain free.