Whiplash may produce delayed jaw pain

ADA Journal study follows car-crash victims

CHICAGO, Aug. 16, 2007 – One in three people exposed to whiplash trauma is at risk of developing delayed TMJ symptoms that may require treatment, according to research published in the August issue of The Journal of the American Dental Association.

Researchers at Umeå University, Sweden, studied short- and long-term temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain and dysfunction in 60 patients in hospital emergency rooms directly after they were involved in a rear-end car collision and evaluated them again one year later.

According to the study, the incidence of new symptoms of TMJ pain, dysfunction or both between the initial examination and follow-up was five times higher in subjects than in uninjured control subjects. In the year between the two examinations, 7 percent of control subjects developed symptoms in the TMJ versus 34 percent of study subjects.

According to the American Dental Association, the TM joint is one of the most complex joints in the body. Located on each side of the head, these joints work together and can make many different movements, including a combination of rotating and translocational (gliding) action, used when chewing and speaking. Any problem that prevents this system of muscles, ligaments, discs and bones from working together properly may result in a painful TMJ disorder.

When the patients reported having symptoms in the TMJ either before or after their accidents or both, the authors evaluated symptoms, including clicking, locking and TMJ pain. They also asked patients to rate their pain intensity and report the degree to which symptoms interfered with their daily lives, including sleep disturbances, use of pain relievers and the need to take sick leave.

“One in three people who are exposed to whiplash trauma, which induces neck symptoms, is at risk of developing delayed TMJ pain and dysfunction during the year after the accident,” the researchers concluded.

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Note: This study was published in the Journal of the American Dental Association, but does not necessarily reflect the policies or opinions of the American Dental Association.

About the American Dental Association
The not-for-profit ADA is the nation’s largest dental association, representing more than 155,000 dentist members. The premier source of oral health information, the ADA has advocated for the public’s health and promoted the art and science of dentistry since 1859. The ADA’s state-of-the-art research facilities develop and test dental products and materials that have advanced the practice of dentistry and made the patient experience more positive. The ADA Seal of Acceptance long has been a valuable and respected guide to consumer and professional products. For more information about the ADA, visit the Association’s Web site at http://www.ada.org.

Contact: Fred Peterson
petersonf@ada.org
312-440-2806
American Dental Association

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Folllowing Rick Usher's death in December 2008, at his request in September of that year, I had agreed, as his principal contributor and an experienced journalist, to run the FMS Global News service due to his heavy commitments to music and raising research funds through this avenue. Following his sad and sudden death I hope to continue his work as he would have wished.
This entry was posted in FMS, FMS Global News, Global News, Health, Temporomandibular Joint Disorders, TMJ. Bookmark the permalink.

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