Jaw or TMJ pain is a fairly typical problem reported by people after a car wreck, and it can be hard for some doctors to find the cause of the problem. Complicating the issue, oftentimes you won't experience TMJ symptoms until many weeks or months after the incident.
Dr. Messerschmidt has treated many individuals with jaw pain after an injury, and the scientific research explains what causes these types of problems. During a crash, the tissues in your neck are oftentimes stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve damage. This can obviously cause pain in the neck and back, but since your nervous system is one functioning unit, irritation of the nerves can cause pain in other parts of your body.
For instance, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause prickling or numbness in the arm or hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injured area, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a crash are very common because of neck injury, and the TMJ works the same way. Dr. Messerschmidt sees this very commonly in our Juneau, AK office.
Research indicates that the root of many jaw or TMJ symptoms starts in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck problem can resolve the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The secret to dealing with these symptoms is simple: Dr. Messerschmidt will work to restore your spinal column back to health, alleviating the inflammatory reaction, treating the injured areas, and removing the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Messerschmidt has found that jaw and headache symptoms often resolve once we restore your spine to its healthy condition.
If you live in Juneau, AK and you've been injured in a crash, Dr. Messerschmidt can help. We've been working with auto injury patients since 1983, and we can probably help you, too. Give our office a call today at (907) 789-1344 for an appointment or consultation.
Ciancaglini R, Testa M, Radaelli G. Association of neck pain with symptoms of temporomandibular dysfunction in the general adult population. Scandinavian Journal of Rehabilitation Medicine 1999;31:17-22.
Brantingham JW, Cassa TK, Bonnefin D, Pribicevic M, Robb A, et al. Manipulative and multimodal therapy for upper extremity and temporomandibular disorders: a system review. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2013;36(3):143-201.