Approximately 5% to 12% of people in the United States will be affected by Temporal Mandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ). Of these cases, approximately 15% will develop a chronic and debilitating form of TMJ, leading to a lifetime of irritating and painful symptoms.
In one study, patients with Whiplash from a car accident were 5 times more likely to develop TMJ symptoms than in the control group.
Temporal Mandibular Joint Syndrome (TMJ) includes symptoms that affect the jaw and the joint connecting the jaw to the skull. Symptoms can be painful and may prevent an individual from eating, talking, and even sleeping. Symptoms of TMJ include but are not limited to:
- Difficulty chewing and pain in the jaw and mouth
- Popping sounds during talking or eating
- Locked or dislocated jaw
- Tinnitus (ringing in the ears) and headaches
- Pain that radiates into the neck or shoulders
Accident victims may experience pain every time they eat, drink, talk, or even yawn. Severe cases of TMJ may actually cause the jaw to dislocate or lock shut completely. Treatment can be lengthy and may require victims to wear special mouth splints for long periods of time. In some situations, physical therapy may even be needed, especially after oral surgery.
If you have suffered from Temporal Mandibular Joint Syndrome after an automobile or motorcycle accident, it is important to know that you are not alone. TMJ symptoms can interrupt almost every aspect of your life, making it difficult to work, eat, talk, and enjoy your daily activities and hobbies.