Accidents will happen

We all do our best to avoid accidents and injuries, but few of us make it through life without some kind of mishap that’s brought an injury or trauma to our back, shoulders, neck, or face.

When your body sustains a traumatic injury, discomfort and pain can often travel beyond the site of the injury and spread to other locations. That’s because your ligaments, muscles, joints, and nerves are all connected and must work together to run your body. Trauma to your back can cause neck pain. Neck pain can lead to poor jaw function and discomfort. Trauma to any part of your body can lead to head, neck and jaw tension.

Injuries can lead to TMJ problems

If you’ve lost or chipped a tooth, sustained and injury to your jaw, or even injured another part of your body, it can affect the integrity of your mouth and jaw. TMJ is particularly common in people with chipped or missing teeth. A side effect of missing teeth a change in the shape of your face. Your teeth and jaw act as supporting structures for your face. When you’re missing teeth, you can also begin to lose bone mass in your jaw. As you age, the lack of support from your missing tooth and jaw causes your face to wrinkle, form deep grooves along the side of your nose and mouth and change shape, often causing you to look older than you really are.

On top of it all, when you’ve injured your jaw, it could result in what’s known as a “bad bite”, meaning your upper and lower jaws are not aligned properly any more. This misalignment can lead to facial pain, jaw clenching and teeth grinding, which can cause significant discomfort and damage.

How do you know if you have TMJ problems?

People with TMJ issues usually experience one or more of these symptoms:


  • Chronic, recurring headaches.
  • A clicking or popping sound in your jaw joints.
  • Earaches, congestion or ringing ears.
  • Difficulty opening your mouth wide.
  • A jaw that locks.
  • Dizziness.
  • Pain while chewing.
  • Pain in your neck or throat.
  • Difficulty in closing your teeth together.
  • Tight, tired jaws.
  • Pain behind your eyes
  • A tender  scalp.
  • Diffilculty swallowing.
  • A painful tongue, gums or cheek muscles.
  • Teeth grinding or clenching.

Healing is a matter of time … and TMJ treatment

Any type of traumatic event, even injuries to your hips, feet, knees, and back, can cause discomfort in the jaw and TMJ. If you find yourself experiencing any of the symptoms associated with TMJ, or if you have sustained an injury following an accident, Dr. Nancy Nehawandian of Top Down Dental in San Jose/Los Gatos can help relieve your symptoms and give you back your good health.