TMJ, Jaw Injury, Dental Malpractice
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What is TMJ?
The temporomandibular joint, or TMJ, is the jaw joint. Everybody has two of these joints, one on each side of the head. The name is derived from the two bones that form the joint, the mandible and the temporal bone.
TMJD, or TMJ disorder, is more commonly known as TMJ. TMJ disorder is a term for the inflammation of the temporomandibular joint, whether it is acute or chronic. This disorder often results in significant pain and impairment.
Clicking or popping of the jaw is not, in and of itself, a TMJ disorder, but it can be if there is pain involved.
Eighty percent of Americans have some sort of abnormality regarding their TMJ (such as clicking or popping). Only half of these people need to seek medical treatment for their symptoms.
What causes TMJ?
- An auto accident with whiplash or other trauma
- Overextending the jaw beyond its range
- Excessive grinding, clenching or biting, which can often happen with chronic pain
- Certain dental problems
- And more…
What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder?
- Malfunction in opening and closing your mouth
- Clicking or popping sounds
You must feel pain to have TMJ disorder. In healthy jaws, the two surfaces that come into contact with one another (bone and cartilage) do not have any nerves. Therefore, one should not feel any pain. Thus, the pain must be coming from one of the surrounding soft tissues. Inflammation of the TMJ can cause constant pain, even without moving the jaw.
What are the treatments for TMJ disorder?
There are many different treatments for TMJD. Below are some examples of these treatments, from least intrusive to the last resort solutions.
- Eliminating bad oral habits
- Restoring the occlusal surfaces of the teeth
- Pain relieving drugs
- Relieving symptoms
- Physical therapy to the masticatory muscles
- Alleviating bad posture of the head
- Non-repositioning stabilization splint
- Gentle jaw stretching and relaxation exercists
- Replacement of the jaw joints or discs
The jaw is a bone structure that surrounds the mouth and teeth and moves up and down to allow chewing. This structure is made up of two parts, the lower and upper jaws. The lower jaw is called the mandible. The upper jaw is called the maxilla. Only the mandible can move.
A jaw is dislocated if the mandible has been moved out of its normal position at the temporomandibular joint.
A jaw is fractured if there is a break in the bones that make up the jaw.
Jaw injuries usually heal completely over time, but some jaw injuries can have more serious side effects than just the injury itself. Further complications include:
- Airway blockage
- Breathing blood or food into the lungs
- Infection of the jaw or face
- Recurrent dislocated jaw
- TMJ disorder and other problems
- Temporary difficulty talking
- Temporary difficulty eating
- Problems aligning teeth
There are many causes of jaw injuries, mostly having to do with trauma of some kind. Examples of incidences that might lead to jaw injuries include:
- Automobile accidents
- Industrial accidents
- Recreational injuries
Dental injuries are injuries to the teeth.
A minor tooth fracture is when the injury only involves a chipping of the enamel.
A deep fracture can involve injury to both the enamel and the dentin.
A tooth is chipped when an actual part of the tooth is broken off.
Knocked Out Tooth
A tooth has been knocked out if it is no longer in the mouth. It is important to seek medical attention within the first few hours of having your tooth knocked out for the best chance of keeping the tooth.
A tooth has been displaced if trauma has caused the tooth to move from its normal position in the mouth. A dentist needs to be seen in such incidences to return the tooth to its proper place.
Pulp tissue makes up the inside of teeth. If it dies, the tooth in question is at serious risk of tooth infection and abscess. It is apparent that the pulp tissue has died because the tooth will turn a blackish color.
Seeking Legal Advice
GorenLaw has decades of experience working with clients to win them the money they deserve. Our TMJ disorder attorney works on a contingency basis only. This means that we do not get paid a fee unless you are able to collect money. Contact our attorney today. There is no charge for a consultation.