Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Traumatically Induced Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction Syndrome

A whiplash injury can result in problems such as chronic headache, ear ringing, dizziness, eye problems, and clicking and/or jaw pain.  Whiplash injuries in the past have been thought to be a minor and limited type of injury which was not thought to be connected with any related serious and/or permanent type side effects.  

In the last ten plus years it have been found that following a whiplash injury (or other type of neck trauma), seemingly unrelated symptoms can develop, sometimes even months after the initial trauma.  These symptoms are now known to be in some instances associated with, and related to the whiplash injury.  Some of the many symptoms that have been directly related to a whiplash type injury are listed below. 
  1.   Chronic headache
  2.   Dizziness or lightheadedness
  3.   Ringing and/or feeling like there is fluid in the ears
  4.   Facial pain
  5.   Difficulty in swallowing
  6.   Pain around the eye and other visual problems
  7.   Pain and clicking in the jaw joint
  8.   Difficulty chewing
  9.   Pain in the scalp area
  10.   Unusual fatigue and/or lack of energy
These symptoms more often then not cause the patient to seek health care.  Sometimes after extensive testing and medications, the patient is told that there is nothing more that can be done and that it is now time to consult a psychologist or psychiatrist in order to see if the source of the problem is psychosomatic in origin.  Although many health care providers know that these same symptoms can be an indicator of a Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction; a few don’t know where to send the patient for an evaluation of the Temporomandibular Joint.  

If you have had a traumatic injury to the neck and have had every medical test done that has shown no real cause for the suffering you are experiencing; then I suggest you talk to your dentist about the situation.  I am not saying that this will always help diagnose and treat your problem; but for those who suffer needlessly with pain, it always helps to see if there is a causative agent.  

Original post from our April 2008 Newsletter

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