Whiplash and Oral Health

November 29, 2020
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

If you’ve ever been in a car accident, you know they can be scary- and painful. While many people are fortunate enough to walk away from some car accidents, they still may face injuries resulting from that accident that cause problems for years to come.

One common injury that is suffered in a car accident is known as whiplash. Whiplash occurs when the neck is forced forward and back quickly. This can occur from sports or other injuries but commonly occurs during a rear-end collision.

Whiplash can be extremely painful to the neck, back, and head, and can take months to recover from. Some people may even suffer from the effects of whiplash much longer and may require physical therapy to heal. But did you know that according to a new study, whiplash can also cause oral health problems, too?

The study was conducted at Umea University in Sweden and followed 60 patients admitted to the emergency room for whiplash. Over the course of one year, the patients healing progress was monitored, but at the one year mark, researchers were surprised to learn that one in three people who suffered whiplash suffered from yet another painful condition: temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction can be caused by several things, including stress, genetics, and even injury, as in the case of those with whiplash.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a collection of issues with the temporomandibular joint. It can cause jaw stiffness when chewing, speaking, or breathing. It can also cause neck pain, backaches and headaches, teeth grinding, and ringing of the ears.

Unfortunately, for many people, temporomandibular joint condition can be debilitating, and it may not go away, either. That’s why there are treatment options that you can discuss with Dr. Mingus. Some of those treatments include braces, custom orthotics, or physical therapy.

If you have suffered from whiplash or another injury, or have unexplained jaw pain, stiffness, headaches, or any of the subjects mentioned above, you could be suffering from temporomandibular joint dysfunction. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Mingus today and see what solutions he can customize for your individual temporomandibular joint dysfunction.