June 11, 2014
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD or TMJ dysfunction) is a term covering pain and dysfunction of the muscles that move the jaw (muscles of mastication) and the joints connecting the jaw to the skull (temporomandibular joints). TMD symptoms can include jaw pain, restricted range of motion, clicking or popping of the jaw with movement, clenching and grinding. TMD is not uncommon and can be caused by trauma, including a motor vehicle accident. As TMD symptoms can become chronic and difficult to manage, thereby affecting one’s quality of life, it is extremely important that if you are experiencing any TMD symptoms following a motor vehicle accident or fall, you mention these symptoms to your dentist, family physician, physiotherapist, etc. and seek out a referral to a TMJ specialist if appropriate. Possible treatments for TMD include: splint therapy, medication, physiotherapy, and orthodontic treatment. Not only is early reporting of symptoms important in proving, as part of the legal claim, that the TMJ injury was caused by the accident, but the sooner you are assessed and treatment is commenced, the better the chances of recovery.
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