In the face of the widespread illness and economic fallout related to the novel coronavirus pandemic, people often feel they need to put aside other concerns. However, it’s still important to try to take care of yourself if you can. This includes treating your TMJ (temporomandibular joint) pain.

Unfortunately, we know that for many people, TMJ pain is increasing now. The good news is that emergency TMJ treatment is available, and most people can experience relief quickly.
stressed out man sits at this computer with his hand resting on his head

TMJ Pain Is Not a Likely COVID-19 Symptom

One of the questions we are getting a lot these days is, “Is TMJ pain a symptom of COVID-19?” Possibly, but not likely.

COVID-19 includes many of the symptoms of typical flu-like illnesses, which includes general body aches and pains. However, unlike most flus, these aches and pains tend to be transitory. You might experience them for a couple of days, but then they pass. Lingering TMJ pain is unlikely a symptom of COVID-19.
A possible exception is if you develop a COVID-19 cough. A serious cough can often trigger TMJ pain. That’s because of the repeated muscle actions and jolts of the joint. In this case, discomfort will likely wane and resolve once your cough diminishes.

Stress Could Spike Your TMJ Symptoms

However, many people could be experiencing more TMJ pain because of a side effect of the pandemic: stress.

Stress levels are high across the country, as we all face an illness that will claim an untold number of lives, and make millions more sick. In addition, many of us face being laid off or having reduced hours and/or wages.
And for those lucky enough to be able to work from home, there are the challenges of actually doing it. You have to figure out how to conduct meetings, access data, and manage your normal workflow in a completely different context. And you might also have a spouse and kids home now who interfere with your workday.
When we feel stress, many of us respond by clenching and/or grinding our teeth. You might be clenching your teeth during the day or perhaps you do it at night while you’re asleep. Known as bruxism, this behavior stresses the jaw joints and muscles. This can trigger TMJ pain and other related symptoms.

TMJ/TMD Symptoms to Watch for

If you suspect your temporomandibular joint disorder, called either TMJ or TMD is worsening because of pandemic-related stress, we can help.

In addition to jaw pain, you might experience symptoms such as:
  • Headaches
  • Jaw clicking and popping
  • Irregular or restricted jaw movement
  • Toothaches
  • Earaches
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Neck pain
  • Face pain
  • Back pain
  • Tingling or numbness in fingers
Not everyone with TMJ experiences all of the symptoms, but most people experience more than one.
The good news is that just as one condition causes all these symptoms, one treatment can resolve them. And you can experience results quickly. Most people experience some degree of relief immediately, with full relief coming within weeks.

Do You Need Emergency TMJ Treatment in Detroit?

If you are experiencing a surge in TMJ pain related to pandemic stress, we can help. The Michigan Center for TMJ & Sleep Wellness in Rochester Hills serves the greater Detroit area, and we are seeing patients who need urgent relief from jaw pain or dysfunction.

Please call (248) 480-0085 today for an appointment with TMJ dentist Dr. Jeffrey S. Haddad. We also offer free virtual consultation so you can get information about your condition without leaving home.