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TMJ injuries from auto accidents can be debilitating

On Behalf of | May 9, 2024 | Car Accident

Victims of automobile accidents in Florida don’t expect to sustain temporomandibular jaw (TMJ) injuries following such an incident. Yet, these injuries are common, often producing debilitating consequences. TMJ can result in chronic pain to the face, neck, jaw and shoulders. Those suffering from it can suffer various consequences that can decrease their quality of life.

Understanding the effects of TMJ

TMJ injuries affect the jaw joint located on either side of the head. These joints allow people to talk, chew and yawn. Injuries to these joints can result in chronic facial pain, joint pain, earaches and headaches that can disappear within a few weeks or last for years in others.

Trauma from motor vehicle accidents commonly cause TMJ. When a vehicle strikes the rear of another one, the force of the collision in the forward car can cause an occupant’s head to fling violently forward and then backward. This action sometimes forces the jaw to push open and exerts added pressure on both sides of the jaw. Whiplash can also occur. TMJ problems can also arise when victims strike their heads on a dashboard.

Common symptoms include:

  • Inability to open the mouth wide
  • Pain in the shoulders, neck or face when speaking
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Popping or grating noises in the jaw

Living with TMJ problems

Although TMJ problems may seem like minor issues, when they occur because of someone else’s negligence from an auto accident, they are anything but that. In these cases, TMJ becomes a debilitating personal injury that affects the quality of life.

If you or a loved one has suffered TMJ issues because of a motor vehicle accident caused by someone else, you may be able to file a claim against the responsible party. A successful claim can help you pay for medical expenses and other losses.