How do I know whether or not I need treatment for my Jaw or TMJ injury?

Disorders of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) are a complex condition to diagnose, and each case is unique. Common symptoms associated with TMJ include ear pain, neck pain, headaches, and tenderness of the jaw. One indication of TMJ may be jaw pain and soreness caused by teeth grinding at night that is more prevalent in the morning rather than later in the day. Patients suffering from TMJ may have difficulty chewing or be unable to fully open and close their mouths. Those suffering from TMJ often experience a clicking or popping noise when opening and closing their jaws. Automobile accidents are a common cause of TMJ disorders, though they may also result from assault and sports injuries. Please refer to our other page on car accidents for more information on the causes of whiplash and the possible onset of TMJ-related symptoms

Given the complexity of each case and the unique nature of each patient’s medical history, only an experienced practitioner should evaluate you for TMJ. It is necessary to physically examine the patient as well as review their medical imaging before making an accurate diagnosis. Once a patient is diagnosed with a TMJ-related condition, your doctor can work with you to identify possible causes of your symptoms and develop a customized treatment plan tailored to your needs. You can refer to our page on the various treatments available for TMJ-related conditions, which can range from the use of minimally-invasive dental appliances to surgical treatments. resulting from whiplash.

            One of the primary causes of TMJ symptoms is a jaw fracture, but TMJ may also be caused by bruxism (teeth grinding), periodontal disease, arthritis, poor posture, facial trauma, jaw dislocation, malocclusion, or improper positioning of the bite (neuromuscular occlusion). Those who experience whiplash injuries in a car accident may experience a sudden onset of symptoms. Whiplash is a sudden trauma that a driver experiences immediately following a collision, resulting in hyperextension (backward movement) followed by hyperflexion (forward movement). Whiplash may cause injuries to the neck and spine in addition to fracturing the temporomandibular joint. It would be impossible to know whether or not your jaw is fractured or even determine the root cause of your TMJ symptoms before you have been examined by an experienced practitioner and undergone all necessary diagnostics and imaging.

If you believe you have experienced any jaw injuries leading to the sudden onset of TMJ-related symptoms, please contact Dr. Federman’s office immediately to schedule a comprehensive evaluation. If your symptoms are the result of a motor vehicle accident, cost should not be a barrier in being evaluated for TMJ-related disorders. New Jersey is a no-fault state, and by default the personal injury protection (PIP) component of your auto insurance policy should pay for a comprehensive evaluation, panoramic x-ray, and additional imaging when it is appropriate. Your own PIP coverage should pay for your initial evaluation and ongoing treatments, including medical appliances, surgery, and/or physical therapy regardless of who is at fault.

If the expertise of multiple specialists is required in your case, Dr. Federman is uniquely positioned because he has long-standing relationships with leading oral surgeons, chiropractors, and physical therapists to coordinate your treatment plan. We can even refer your case along to leading injury attorneys in the area that can work with your insurance company or even pursue legal action in court to obtain maximum compensation for medical expenses and pain and suffering following an auto accident. Disorders of the temporomandibular joint can have a significant impact on a patient’s long-term quality of life, and our goal is to empower each patient to resume normal activities following successful treatment.