How Soon Can You Get TMJ After a Car Accident

How Soon Can TMJ Occur After a Car Accident?

As much as 12 percent of the population suffers from temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders or commonly referred to as TMJ.

While poor posture, stress, and teeth grinding can cause TMJ, you can also develop this disorder from a car accident injury.

If you’ve been in a car accident and started to have TMJ symptoms, you might wonder if the two are related. Learn how soon TMJ occurs after a car accident, along with other information.

TMJ After a Car Accident – What You Need to Know

More than 65 percent of bodily injury claims are for whiplash, and these injuries can lead to TMJ. Whiplash causes your head to snap forward and backward violently. The excessive force can push your jaw open and apply pressure to the jaw joints. This, in turn, can lead to TMJ.

While whiplash is the most common way to develop TMJ after an accident, you can also get whiplash from hitting your face during the accident. Your face might come into contact with the airbag or dashboard, leading to whiplash.

With such a violent injury, you would think that your symptoms would arise immediately. That happens sometimes, but in many cases, the symptoms don’t develop for years. You might have been in an accident two years ago and felt fine, and suddenly, you have TMJ. That could be a result of your car accident injuries.

TMJ Symptoms

Do you have jaw pain, but you’re unsure if it’s TMJ? TMJ has a variety of symptoms. You might experience some or all of the symptoms, including pain when opening your mouth, discomfort when chewing, and difficulty biting. Other symptoms include popping noises, a locked jaw, and facial swelling.

This might surprise you, but you can also experience symptoms in your ears. If you have TMJ, you might notice hearing loss and earaches. Dizziness is also a symptom of TMJ disorder.

Treating TMJ

If you have TMJ, you can receive treatment from a Brooklyn multi-specialty medical clinic. After diagnosing your condition, the doctor will develop a treatment plan that might include medications, such as muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories.

Mouthguards and oral splints might be used to alleviate the pressure on the teeth and jaw, and you might need physical therapy. Your physical therapist can teach you certain exercises to strengthen and stretch your jaw and use treatments to reduce inflammation and provide pain relief.  

If you don’t respond to these treatments, your doctor can provide corticosteroid injections to reduce the inflammation. Once the inflammation goes down, your symptoms should dissipate. Surgery is also an option but used as a last resort when patients don’t respond to conservative treatments. Your doctor will go over all your treatment options and develop a plan that works best for you.

Seeking Treatment for Post-accident TMJ

When you were in an automobile accident, TMJ was likely the last thing on your mind. You knew that broken bones, strains, and whiplash occur with an accident, but you didn’t realize you could also develop TMJ. TMJ can be a very painful condition; fortunately, this is a treatable condition, so seek help at a car accident medical center in Brooklyn, NY.

Call (718) 769-2521 to schedule your appointment today. We accept most major medical insurance plans, workers’ compensation, medical liens, and no-fault insurance. Same-day appointments may be available.