I was at my horse riding lesson when I got head-butted by a horse. It was not the fault of the school. I was standing too close to his head on the side without holding his bridle. Chestnut shook his head to try to get something off his ear and his head hit me on the left side of my face. I was wearing my helmet, so that was good. I thought I was fine. I just had a small bruise on the side of my face, which healed well. The last two days, however, my jaw has really been hurting and sore. It’s hard to open my mouth all the way. A friend of mine told me that trauma to the jaw can cause TMJ Disorder. Do you think I should see a dentist or should I just give it some more time?
Wow! Horse riding lessons sound fun…well, except for that head-butting thing. I’m sorry for your injury. Your friend is correct. You do need to get this checked out. While time heals bruises, it doesn’t do much for joint damage, which is what TMJ Disorder is. The trauma for the horse could have knocked your temporomandibular joint out of alignment. This can lead to pain in your jaw, difficulty opening your mouth, clicking sounds, and even migraines.
There are also the possibilities of a sprain or fracture of your jaw. Because of that, I think you should get this area imaged as soon as possible. Even if you don’t have any symptoms, it is important to have an injury imaged.
Be Careful About the Dentist
There is not currently a recognized specialty in TMJ. Because of that, you want to be careful at who you have do your evaluation and treatment, if that becomes necessary. You will want a dentist who has invested in post-doctoral TMJ training. Take a look at Dr. Weiss’s bio to get an idea of what you want in a dentist with regard to an understand of how TMJ disorder works. There are many horror stories of patients whose jaws were destroyed by dentists who didn’t know what they were doing. I don’t want you to be one of them.
This blog is brought to you by Philadelphia Dentist Dr. Michael Weiss.