Jaw or TMJ pain is a fairly typical problem experienced by many people after a car wreck, and it can be tough for some doctors to identify the source of the problem. Complicating the issue, oftentimes you won't develop TMJ symptoms until many weeks or months after a crash.
Dr. Ernst has helped many men and women with jaw pain after an injury, and the scientific literature explains what causes these types of symptoms. During a collision, the tissues in your neck are oftentimes stretched or torn, causing ligament, muscle, or nerve injury. This can clearly cause pain in the neck and back, but since your central nervous system is one functioning unit, irritation of the nerves can cause problems in other parts of your body.
For example, with radicular pain, irritation of a nerve can cause tingling or numbness in the arm or hand. Similarly, it can affect parts of your body above the injured tissues, like your head and jaw. Headaches after a collision are very common because of neck injury, and the jaw works the same way. Dr. Ernst sees this very often in our Arlington office.
Research indicates that the source of many jaw or TMJ symptoms starts in the neck and that treatment of the underlying neck injury can resolve the secondary headaches or jaw symptoms. The trick to resolving these symptoms is simple: Dr. Ernst will work to restore your spine back to health, relieving the inflammatory reaction, treating the injured tissues, and removing the irritation to the nerves in your spine.
Dr. Ernst finds that jaw and headache symptoms often resolve once we return your spine to its healthy state.
If you live in Arlington and you've been hurt in a crash, Dr. Ernst can help. We've been working with auto injury patients since 1990, and we can probably help you, too. Give our office a call today at (360) 659-8464 for an appointment.
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.