TMJ Whiplash From MVA (Motor Vehicle Car Accident)- TMJ Pain, Neck Pain and Headaches

Direct trauma or indirect trauma to the TMJ and cervical (neck) area can lead to immediate or delayed Whiplash Associated Disorder (a.k.a. Cervical Whiplash, TMJ Whiplash, Mandibular Whiplash) and TMJ Symptoms.

One in three people who are exposed to whiplash trauma are at risk of developing delayed TMJ symptoms (Isberg, 2007). This explains why people do not exhibit all the symptoms immediately after the accident, but there was a delay.

Common symptoms following Whiplash Associated Disorders (WAD), especially when multiple body parts have been injured from a MVA (motor vehicle accident) or pedestrian vehicle accident are:

  • Headaches
  • TMJ Pain (including but no limited to jaw clicking, pain on biting, pain on chewing, limited mouth opening)
  • neck pain
  • upper shoulder pain
  • tinnitus (ear ringing)
  • dizziness

The areas that can be injured during whiplash and produce similar symptoms include but are not limited to, the:

  • Temporomandibular joints
  • Neck
  • Brain

The overlap of these symptoms can lead to difficulty of diagnosing TMJ Whiplash and Temporomandibular Disorder, resulting in a delay of diagnosis and treatment. A delay in diagnosis can lead to Chronic Pain Syndrome (pain that has lasted longer than 3 months to 6 months) due to neuroplasticity and central sensitization from the person’s unresolved craniofacial pain, TMJ pain and neck pain caused by the accident (Sessle, 2009).

When facial, mouth or jaw pain or related dysfunction becomes chronic, there can be emotional, psychological and social disturbances that compromise the person’s well-being and quality of life. The person’s well-being and quality of life can be compromised due to emotional, psychological and social disturbances that occur when related dysfunction or pain in the facial, mouth or jaw area (Sessle, 2009)

This is why it is important to determine as soon as possible if TMJ whiplash (mandibular whiplash) has occured.

TMJ MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) can be used to verify the dysfunction of the TMJ joint.

At Oasis Dental, we provide drug free and non surgical treatment.

Click here for more information on Temporomandibular Disorder and Headaches.

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