It's been a few weeks after the auto accident, and you've started to notice you're experiencing an aching sensation in your jaw and perhaps, difficulties chewing or opening and closing your mouth. Your jaw wasn't hit or injured in the car crash, so what's going on?
If you sustained a neck injury or whiplash in the auto accident, it's possible that you're suffering from dysfunction in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or the joint that connects the jaw to the skull. We've previously written about the connection of temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD) and whiplash, but a new study sheds additional light on this link.
Researchers from the Journal of the American Dental Association recently sought to see whether whiplash injury could increase the risk of TMD in a recent study. They recruited 65 patients with whiplash who were suffering orofacial pain, or pain in the TMJ, teeth, face, and jaw. These patients were compared to a control group of 65 people who were experiencing orofacial pain but had not sustained a whiplash injury. Indeed, the patients with whiplash were significantly more likely to have myofascial pain and disc replacement reduction (or dysfunctional jaw movement accompanied by a "clicking" sound). The authors concluded that this further establishes a link between TMD and whiplash.
Chiropractic treatments, such as intra-oral myofascial therapy, have been shown to reduce jaw pain in patients with TMD. Other research has demonstrated that chiropractic and physical therapy can also improve symptoms in patients with whiplash.
Our Aloha/Beaverton chiropractors combine chiropractic care and physical therapy to provide non-invasive treatment of auto injuries. This treatment approach has proven to be successful for hundreds of patients in Aloha, OR and Beaverton, OR. Schedule an appointment with Oregon Medical Centers today to experience the results.
Marini I, Paduano S, et al. The prevalence of temporomandibular disorders in patients with late whiplash syndrome who experience orofacial pain: A case-control series study. Journal of the American Dental Association 2013 May; 144(5): 486-90.