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Why Does Jaw Pain Sometimes Take a While to Show Up After a Car Accident?

Posted on 10/25/2021 by Office
Why Does Jaw Pain Sometimes Take a While to Show Up After a Car Accident?Pain in the jaw and facial structures is one of the symptoms most people report after getting in a car accident. In many cases, the pain starts after a while instead of immediately after. This delay results in a misconception that the accident might not be the cause of the pain. Bone fractures are also a common cause of pain. Whiplash from an accident can sometimes cause damage to the tissues and muscles holding your jaws in place. Impact to the jaw or face mostly from airbags deploying also causes damage to the jaws and facial structures. This damage might result in the dislocation of the joint. However, most jaw pains after an accident are due to a condition known as temporomandibular joint disorder.

Temporomandibular disorder or TMJ occurs when the jaw gets dislocated or broken at the joint connecting the upper and lower jaws. This joint is vital for all actions involving the jaw, including chewing, speaking, laughing, and even yawning, since they all move the jaw around the temporomandibular joint. Disrupting normal operation of the temporomandibular joint is known to cause severe discomfort. You might also start to hear a crackling sound every time you open your mouth wide and close it. This might be an indication of joint problems developing.

However, the discomfort and pains may sometimes take a while to start due to the adrenaline still present in your body. When you experience distress, your brain releases adrenaline to help you fight the danger or run away from it. You are able to ignore pain to a certain degree when experiencing the effects of adrenaline.

What to Do About It

If you have been experiencing pains in your jaw or face, we highly recommend that you visit our offices for assessment. To avoid further complications such as displacement of the articular disc, you will need to consult a professional. Be sure to book an appointment with us to be able to resume your normal daily routines.


Derrick Flint, MD, DDS | Matthew Largent, MD, DDS

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