The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) connects the jaw to the skull, and it is responsible for all of our jaw movements, including speaking, chewing, and yawning. injuries can be incredibly painful and debilitating. When this joint is injured, it can cause a range of symptoms, from mild discomfort to severe pain and limited mobility.
Causes of TMJ Injuries
TMJ injuries can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- Trauma: A blow to the face or jaw can cause a TMJ injury. This is common in car
accidents, sports injuries, and falls.
- Grinding or clenching of teeth: Overuse of the TMJ due to grinding or clenching of
teeth can cause inflammation and damage to the joint.
- Arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis or osteoarthritis can cause inflammation and damage to
- Stress: Stress can cause tension in the jaw muscles, leading to TMJ pain and
Symptoms of TMJ Injury
- Pain or tenderness in the jaw joint, face, neck, or shoulders.
- Difficulty or pain when chewing, speaking, or opening the mouth wide.
- Clicking or popping sounds when opening or closing the mouth.
- Locking of the jaw joint, making it difficult to open or close the mouth.
- Headaches or earaches.
- Dizziness or ringing in the ears.
Treatment for TMJ injuries will depend on the severity of the injury and the underlying cause. Some common treatment options include:
- Resting the jaw: Avoiding chewing gum, hard foods, and other activities that strain the jaw joint can help ease TMJ pain.
- Applying heat or cold: Applying a warm or cold compress to the affected area can help reduce inflammation and pain.
- Medications: Over-the-counter pain relievers, muscle relaxants, or anti-inflammatory drugs may be prescribed to help relieve TMJ pain.
- Physical therapy: Exercises to strengthen and stretch the jaw muscles can help improve TMJ function.
- Bite guards: Wearing a customized bite guard can help reduce teeth grinding and clenching, which can cause TMJ pain.
- Surgery: In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to repair or replace the damaged joint.
- What to Do If You Have Suffered a TMJ Injury
If you have suffered a TMJ injury due to someone else’s negligence, such as in a car accident or a sports injury, you may be entitled to compensation. In order to pursue a personal injury claim, you will need to prove that the other party’s negligence was the proximate cause of your injury. This can be a complex process, and it is important to work with an experienced personal injury attorney who can help you navigate the legal system.
A personal injury attorney can help you gather evidence to support your claim, such as medical records, witness statements, and accident reports. They can also negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to ensure that you receive fair compensation for your injuries, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and any other damages related to your TMJ injury.
It is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible if you believe you have suffered a TMJ injury. A doctor can diagnose the injury and recommend a treatment plan. This documentation will also be crucial in supporting your personal injury claim. In addition to seeking medical attention and working with a personal injury attorney, there are other steps you can take to protect your legal rights after a TMJ injury:
- Document the details of the accident or incident that led to your injury. Take photos of any visible injuries or damage.
- Keep track of all medical appointments, treatments, and expenses related to your TMJ injury.
- Avoid discussing your case with anyone other than your attorney.
- Follow all medical advice and treatment recommendations.
- Keep a journal of your symptoms and how they are affecting your daily life.
If you or a loved one have suffered a serious temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injury, submit our inquiry form or call us at 404-253-7862.
Johnson & Ward has been a leading personal injury and wrongful death specialty law firm in Atlanta since 1949. The founders of the firm were also among the founders of the Georgia Trial Lawyers Association. Current partners include former presidents of the State Bar of Georgia and the Atlanta Bar Association.