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Jaw pain after a car accident

Jaw pain after a car accident is common, even in circumstances where the jaw wasn’t impacted directly. The jaw is a strong joint made up of many delicate components. Because of its complex structure, the jaw is vulnerable to injury, even in relatively low-speed collisions.

Jaw pain after a crash can be caused many different types of injuries including; whiplash, TMJ, facial injuries, jaw sprain or a dislocated jaw. Depending on the injury, jaw pain caused by an auto crash can be delayed by weeks or even months.

If you have jaw pain after a car accident, don’t overlook it. Get your symptoms checked out by a doctor so you can receive proper medical treatment for the root cause of your jaw pain. Putting it off can only harm your health and hurt your chances of a successful injury claim.

Don't pay for someone else's mistake

Treating jaw pain can involve manual repositioning, surgery, even metal plates and wires. Physical therapy for the jaw muscles may also be needed for full recovery. All of these treatments cost money – money you’re on the hook for unless you can prove someone else’s negligence caused the crash.

If you weren’t at fault for the car accident, or if someone else was more at fault, you may have the right to seek compensation for your injuries, pain and suffering, lost income and more. Your best bet is starting off with a free claim review from an experienced attorney.

Steve Caya is a proven personal injury lawyer fighting for injured accident victims throughout Wisconsin. Reach out today to share your experience and get a free consultation.

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Can an auto accident cause TMJ?

TJM refers to both the temporomandibular joint (where the jawbone and skull meet) and TMJ dysfunction and disorders. TMJ symptoms can include:

TMJ can also cause pain in the neck or shoulders when chewing, talking or otherwise moving the jaw.

TMJ can be, and often is, caused by injury in a car accident. The two most common ways collisions trigger TMJ are whiplash and blunt force trauma. Striking your head or jaw against the steering wheel, side window or airbag with enough force can damage the bones and soft tissues of the jaw, leading to TMJ.

Whiplash jaw pain

Whiplash is caused by a rapid back-and-forth snapping of the head and neck, often from a rear-end collision (though whiplash can result from any type of car accident). The extreme forces acting on the muscles and connective tissues in the neck can also injure the temporomandibular joints (the two joints connecting the lower jaw and skull). This type of injury is called whiplash-induced TMJ or ‘TMJ whiplash.’

Headache and jaw pain after a car accident

Muscles connect the lower jaw to both the torso and the head. This puts the temporomandibular joints (TMJ) right in the middle of a tug of war when the head is thrown forward and back in a collision. When the muscles, tendons and ligaments of the jaw are bruised, strained or torn it can cause jaw pain, facial pain and headaches.

Delayed jaw pain

Frequently, individuals diagnosed with whiplash develop delayed symptoms of TMJ. Because TMJ pain and other symptoms can be delayed by weeks or even months after the accident, many victims don’t realize the car accident and their jaw pain are related. If you’ve been in a motor vehicle collision and experience TMJ symptoms within the year, see a doctor as soon as your symptoms arise and tell them about the crash. 

Dislocated jaw after a car accident

A dislocated jaw is painful and needs immediate medical attention. In some cases a dislocated jaw can be put back in place manually. In severe cases, surgery may be required.

Symptoms of a dislocated jaw include:

  • Pain below the ear, usually just on one side
  • Unable to fully close or open mouth
  • Difficulty talking and chewing
  • Bite doesn’t line up properly

Once you’ve had a dislocated jaw, you’re at higher risk of it happening again. Jaw dislocation can also cause TMJ disorder and recurring pain.

Experiencing jaw pain after a car accident? Know your rights

When someone else is responsible for the accident and your jaw pain, you’re entitled to just compensation for your losses. A TMJ car accident settlement can include damages for medical treatment, pain and suffering, lost wages and possibly more.

Undiagnosed, untreated jaw pain after a car accident can cause long-term or even permanent damage to your health. Don’t risk it. See a doctor for your jaw pain, and contact a personal injury lawyer to learn about your best options for compensation.

Contact Steve Caya today to request a free TMJ injury claim review.