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What to Do After a Car Crash if You Have Jaw Pain

Steven Matz
November 19, 2022 | Car Accident

The force of a motor vehicle accident is enough to crumple metal; it is unimaginable to think about the damage it can have on the human body. If you experience jaw pain after an accident, it could be due to whiplash and easily looked over as an issue.

It is important to seek medical attention to get a diagnosis of your jaw pain after a car accident. You may have injuries that are not easily detectable, which can cause you serious complications. Medical treatment, whether short-term or long-term, might cost a significant amount.

If you live in Michigan, you may be eligible to receive compensation to cover the costs of your treatment plan and other losses you have suffered. The experienced car accident attorneys at Matz Injury Law can help. Call us today to obtain a free consultation at 866-226-6833.

Jaw Pain After a Car Accident?

Jaw pain is an often overlooked injury after a car crash. Make an appointment to see your healthcare practitioner or visit the emergency room for any severe pain or if it is difficult to move your jaw. Immediate steps to take while waiting to obtain a medical evaluation can include:

  • Avoiding hard and chewy foods
  • Keeping to a soft food diet
  • Taking over-the-counter pain relievers
  • Using ice and heat packs
  • Getting plenty of rest

If you or a loved one experiences jaw pain in the aftermath of a crash, it is vital to seek medical attention right away.

What Causes Jaw Pain After a Car Crash?

When you experience the force of a car crash, it can cause sudden movement. If your head hits the airbag, steering wheel, dashboard, window, or other objects in the car during a collision, it can cause jaw pain.

A low-impact crash at 30 mph could cause extreme forces, as high as 12 tons without the use of a seatbelt. Even when a car occupant is wearing a seatbelt, that same 30 mph crash can create a force of 1.6 tons. With this type of intense force, a car accident victim can suffer jaw pain and other injuries. Whiplash is the most common cause of jaw pain for victims of car accidents.

What is Whiplash Trauma?

Upon the impact of an auto accident, the driver and passengers can be thrown or bounced within the vehicle, causing a sharp pushing and pulling movement the body is not prepared to absorb. This is common in rear-end collisions, and whiplash is a big contributor to neck pain.

It can create jaw disorders as well. Even if your jaw is not directly affected by the impact, whiplash injuries can impair chewing abilities. In other words, you do not even have to have hit your jaw to suffer TMJ.

What is TMJ Disorder?

Temporomandibular joint disorder, typically called TMJ, affects the two joints found on both sides of your face, in front of your ears. These joints connect your skull and lower jawbone and are critical for chewing and speaking.

TMJs are one of the most complex joints in the body and are critical to helping the mandible (the largest bone in the human skull) move up and down. If the movement between the mandible and joints becomes misaligned, you might experience pain, low range of motion, or difficulty talking, eating, yawning, and other movements.

What Are the Symptoms Associated with TMJ?

diagram of TMD/TMJ symptoms

If you or a loved one experience specific symptoms after a car accident, you should see a physician immediately. TMJ symptoms do not always appear immediately. Even if symptoms do not seem severe, it is imperative to speak to a professional to ensure a more severe problem is not lurking beneath the surface. The following are common symptoms of a TMJ injury.

Locked Jaw

In a TMJ injury, especially a severe one, the jaw can “lock” with a misalignment. This means the person is unable to move their jaw. In some cases, fixing jocked jaw requires surgery.


Migraines after a car accident might signify you have TMJ due to the muscle tightening that occurs.


Oftentimes, TMJ affects the middle or inner ear, which can cause head spinning or dizziness. Inflammation in your jaw joint can throw off your balance and cause vertigo.

Pain While Eating

If you notice difficulty chewing certain foods, especially tough, chewy, or crunchy foods, and are in pain, this could be a sign of TMJ.
Other symptoms of TMJ include clicking or “popping” sounds when moving your lower jaw, facial pain, facial swelling, ear pain or ringing (tinnitus), and fatigue.

What Are Possible Causes For Jaw Pain After an Accident?

woman in pain holding her jaw

Unfortunately, jaw pain is common after a car accident. While TMJ injuries are one of the most often overlooked injuries, there are other possible causes of jaw pain. These include the following.

Bruised Jaw

If you have difficulty speaking, cannot close your mouth, or have a protruding or misaligned jaw after a car accident, your jaw is likely bruised and swollen. Speak with a dentist or medical professional as soon as possible.

Broken Jaw

If you experience tinnitus, dizziness, difficulty speaking, eating, or opening your jaw muscles, you could have a broken or fractured jaw. Pain is usually quite intense.

Dislocated Jaw

Problems chewing, talking, or widely opening (or closing) the mouth might signal you have a dislocated jaw. Facial pain usually intensifies when opening or closing your mouth.

A licensed medical professional can examine you, discuss your symptoms, and determine the cause of your jaw pain. It is important not to ignore new sensations after suffering a car accident. Even minor discomfort or pain could signal a bigger jaw issue, a skull fracture, spinal injury, traumatic brain injury, or ligament or soft tissue damage.

Why Do I Have Ear Pain After a Car Accident?

Unfortunately, for some Michigan accident victims, ear pain may also emerge. The pressure associated with the force of impact can cause damage to your ear canal, a sensitive part of your skull that is complex in nature. Symptoms commonly experienced include difficulty hearing, pain, dizziness, nausea, ear ringing (tinnitus), and a “blocked ear” feeling. See a doctor right away to discuss treatment options.

If You Have Been Injured in a Car Accident, Call Matz Injury Law

If your car accident left you with jaw pain, an experienced personal injury lawyer who is well-versed in Michigan law can help. The attorneys at Matz Injury Law are here for you and will advocate and support you every step of the way.

  • Gather evidence relating to the crash
  • Determine negligence
  • Assess your injuries from the collision
  • Calculate your financial losses for your injuries
  • Help you to file your car accident claim

At Matz Injury law, our car accident injury attorneys will fight hard for you to help you to get the compensation you need and deserve. If you suffer jaw pain, chances are you have medical bills from seeing doctors, dentists, radiologists, surgeons, ENTs, physical therapists, occupational therapists, chiropractors, or other professionals.

Did Your Car Accident Leave You With Lasting Jaw Pain?

Jaw pain and ear pain can hurt your quality of life. At Matz Injury Law, we are very experienced and highly equipped to handle car accident cases involving injuries such as TMJ. To date, we have earned more than $300 million for our Michigan clients and will work hard to help you get a settlement.

Steven Matz and his compassionate and caring legal team have been practicing law in Michigan for decades, having logged hundreds of thousands of miles traveling to virtually every county in Michigan’s lower and upper peninsulas. We value our clients and want to see you get the help you need. Our fee is 22% of any recovery, far lower than the standard 33% in our industry.

If you would like to obtain a free case evaluation, contact Matz Injury Law at 866-226-6833 or fill out our online contact form.

steven matz headshot

Written By Steven Matz

Founding Shareholder

Steven J. Matz is a founding shareholder of Matz Injury Law. The firm’s concentration is on personal injury litigation, with an emphasis on traumatic brain injury.

The maximum contingency fee permitted by law is actually 331/3%. Michigan court rules require that the attorney fee be computed on the net sum recovered after deducting all disbursements properly chargeable to the enforcement of the claim.

What does 22not33 mean, exactly?

We can charge 22% while virtually all other injury attorneys charge 331/3% because we are very, very, good at obtaining results for our clients.

We do not spend millions of dollars on television ads; instead, we offer a lower fee to all our clients. We do not have dozens of lower paid associates handling our work. All our clients are represented by Steven and Jared Matz. Steven Matz started the firm in 1977 and since then has dedicated his life to representing injury victims. Jared joined the firm in 2016 but grew up listening to stories, discussing theories, and generally learning at the dinner table about how to effectively and compassionately represent injury victims. Jared Matz was literally born to represent individuals involved in motor vehicle crashes.

All of our cases are handled on a contingency fee and all our cases are handled at 22%. Whether the case settles or goes through trial, the fee does not change. While our competitors make excuses as to why they charge so much, we are obtaining results for our clients at a lower fee.

At a typical television advertising law firm, your first call will be handled by a receptionist, who may refer you to an intake person, who will discuss your claim with an intake manager, who then discusses your claim with an associate, who may then report to a partner. You may never speak with the person whose name is at the top of the letterhead. At Matz Injury Law you will always speak with either Steven Matz or Jared Matz.