Normally, people enjoy eating, and do not feel that the time spent fueling the body detracts from their daily life. Suppose, though, that you experienced pain each time that you chewed some food. That is what happens to the victim of TMJ.
What does TMJ stand for?
Those familiar with personal injury law know that TMJ refers to an injury to the temporomandibular joints. Those are the joints that allow the jaw to be attached to the skull. That movable part of the body contains muscles, blood vessels, nerves and bones.
Symptoms associated with a TMJ injury
• Chronic facial pain
• Earaches and headaches
• Ringing in the ears
• Trouble using jaw
• Patient has developed a habit of shifting the position of the head in response to the chronic pain.
• A popping or grating noise that comes from the area of the jaw.
• Facial swelling, typically in the region of the jaw.
• Jaw gets locked in an open or closed position
Why are those particular symptoms of concern to a personal injury lawyer?
The impact created by a rear-end collision can throw the head forward and then backward. The impact created by a side collision can cause the jaw to get moved in the direction of the impact. In either case, the resulting pressure gets felt by the joints in the jaw. The combination of pressure, along with the head’s movement can trigger development of the listed symptoms.
Understand that as the head gets moved, the jaw experiences the forces that have caused that movement. The jaw is a flexible part of the body. Still its flexibility relies on the existence of a body part that moves with ease.
Possible treatment for TMJ
• Nerve stimulation: Used when the patient has a locked jaw.
• Utilization of mouth guards
• Orthodontic work: May be necessary, if the position of the teeth got shifted, following movement of the jaw.
• Application of ice: Might be used to ease the pain.
No treatment gets used, if the condition has not been diagnosed. A patient might suffer needlessly, if the doctor failed to note the presence of the tell-tale symptoms, or if the patient did not tell the doctor about having experienced those same symptoms.
The treatments listed above are those that have been used repeatedly for an extended period of time. There are a few doctors that provide patients with the chance to try a new treatment. Of course, an injured patient may find it hard to get compensated from the insurance company for utilization of a relatively new type of remedy.