According to a study that appeared in the Journal of the American Dental Association, 33% of the people who suffer whiplash end up requiring treatment for jaw pain. There exists a clear relationship between whiplash and TMJ pain. Females are likelier to report TMJ-related symptoms after whiplash.
How can Whiplash Lead to Jaw Pain?
The TMJ is a complex joint that enables the jaw to execute different movements that allow us to chew and speak. A temporomandibular disorder can arise if the ligaments, joints, muscle, and bones that make up this structure are affected in any way. A whiplash often results when a car is rear ended. If a car is struck from behind, the whiplash experienced by the passengers of the vehicle struck causes the head to be whipped back. The lower jaw is pulled open and the TMJ joints experience a spike in the load placed on them. The whipping action causes the head and lower jaw to move in opposite directions. The TMJ is strained and an injury may happen. It may manifest immediately or over a period. The TMJ injury can be characterized in terms of myofascial pain in which the muscles responsible for jaw movement are affected; sometimes the disc that cushions the skull over the lower jaw is displaced because of the sudden whiplash motion; sometimes the synovial membrane that lubricates the joints can get inflamed. Neck pain is a common symptom because of a misalignment of the bones of the upper cervical spine. Delayed TMD symptoms can appear in individuals who suffer whiplash. Therefore, timely and periodic medical checkups are essential to either negate or corroborate the matter, as the case may be. If you have suffered a whiplash, then we'd love to guide you about how to manage the health of your temporomandibular joint. Call us.
ORAL SURGERY SPECIALISTS OF AUSTIN
Derrick Flint, MD, DDS | Matthew Largent, MD, DDS