The temporomandibular joints are sometimes injured in whiplash patients we treat. The mechanism of injury in rear-end collisions stems from the high G forces that occur to the head. In previous posts on our blog, I wrote how rear-end crashes with little or no damage to either vehicle can cause more than enough G forces to cause permanent ligament, joint, and disc damage to the cervical spine. A crash with a change of velocity of 5 mph can cause 12 G forces to the occupants’ head, and it takes about 6.5 and 8.5 G’s respectively to cause ligament and disc damage. A crash with a change of velocity of 5 mph can leave little or no damage to both vehicles.
The TMJ is injured by the very quick, high energy backward and forward motion, injuring the joint and possibly tearing the supporting ligaments in the TMJ. It’s not an uncommon occurrence and we treat TMJ injuries along with the spinal injuries at our clinic. If you are suffering whiplash and TMJ problems, we can help, call us today at 907-349-4212!