When bicycle accidents in Florida or anywhere around this nation take place, long-term jaw injuries can occur. If a cycling accident victim suffers a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) injury, it can be very painful and cause injury to the jaw joint, jaw, and muscles – making it difficult to speak, chew, or even open the mouth.
What is TMJ?
Temporomandibular disorder is a jaw injury to the joint in the jaw, also known as TMJ. The joint connects the temporal bone in the skull with the lower jaw. The jaw joint gives people the ability to move their jaws up and down or from side to side. Without this movement, people cannot chew, talk or even yawn. When people have TMJ, it causes them difficulty even to move their mouths. This is because the ligaments, muscles, bones, and discs of the jaw are injured, causing the jaw to lock.
Symptoms of TMJ can include one or several of the following:
- Pain in the jaw joint
- Pain in the ear (earaches)
- Facial pain
- Neck pain (stiff neck)
- Shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Pain behind the eyes
- Facial swelling on the side of the face
- A bite that is continually changing or “off”
- Grinding of teeth from pain
- Clicking or snapping sound of the jaw
- Jaw locking when open or closed
- Inability to open the jaw fully
- Difficulty eating, chewing, talking, yawning
Sarasota Cycling Accidents and TMJ Injuries
Bicyclists experiencing any of the above symptoms should seek medical care to identify their injuries. Sometimes TMJ can be difficult to identify or may be treated as a different injury. Pain in and around the jaw joint is the most common symptom of TMJ, but other symptoms can include pain, headaches, dizziness, and stiff necks. Because of this, doctors often misdiagnose TMJ as whiplash or another injury.
However, the popping or clicking sound in the jaw joint, along with these other symptoms, should help to identify the Sarasota bicycle accident injury as TMJ. Once a victim has been diagnosed with TMJ, the insurance companies will act like it is a minor injury when it is anything but that. If you cannot eat, chew, yawn, or talk after your injury, then you have a major injury that you should be compensated adequately for.
Call our skilled Sarasota personal injury lawyers at the Mallard Law at (888) 409-3805 and receive a complimentary consultation and a free copy of our book What You Need to Know After a Florida Auto, Truck or Bike Accident.