Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) & Dental Injuries

blw-bannersTMJ & DENTAL INJURY
Dental injuries can occur in relatively minor collisions where the jerking back and forth of the head and neck can lead to upper and lower teeth smashing into each other.  This can result in dental fractures or chipped teeth.  Obviously, hitting your teeth or jaw on any part of the vehicle can lead to injuries to the bones of the jaw or injury to the teeth.

Another common injury that is sustained in automobile collisions is to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ).  As the head and neck whip forward and back, the muscles and ligaments that connect the upper and lower jaw (which hinge just below the ear) can be strained or torn.  Like most joints, there is cartilage in the TMJ that allows the bones to slide past each other with little friction.  In the temporomandibular joint, this cartilage is a disc, and this disc can be displaced, resulting in the upper and lower jaw bones touching each other. This can result in symptoms of pain, clicking, reduced mouth opening, and difficulty chewing.  In turn, this can result in a misalignment of the teeth, causing wear and tear.

Most often, this can be corrected by a mouth guard or appliance, but in some cases, surgery is necessary.

Lawyers can assist in recognizing this TMJ dysfunction and facilitating the referral to the appropriate oral maxillary specialist.  We ensure that you receive the appropriate compensation from ICBC over and above the usual whiplash injury that accompanies a TMJ injury.

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