How Long Will My Jaw Hurt?Will TMJ Pain Go Away On Its Own?
by Dr. Scott Bolding
Dealing with any kind of pain is frustrating. TMJ pain is no exception. It makes it hard to open your mouth and eat your favorite foods. And when you first start to feel that ache in your jaw joint, you can’t help but wonder if TMJ pain will go away on its own.
Do you need to be concerned about it? Can you treat it at home? Or do you need to go to the doctor?
Ultimately, you’re trying to figure out how long TMJ pain will last and if there’s anything you need to do to treat it. Well, the answer depends on the severity and persistence of your pain.
In most cases, TMJ pain will go away with at-home treatments. However, if your jaw joint pain persists, you need to get professional help.
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What Causes TMJ Pain?
How long TMJ pain lasts depends on the underlying cause and severity of your pain. The TMJ is like the other joints in your body. It has ligaments, tendons, and muscles around it. If any part of the joint is injured or damaged, it can cause a TMJ disorder. TMJ pain can have any number of causes.
Sometimes TMJ pain is caused by stress. Our bodies react to stress in ways we aren’t always aware of. Some people grind and clench their teeth. Doing this puts excess pressure on the jaw joint. Overtime, the joint can become worn, causing inflammation and pain.
Lifestyle habits like eating hard, chewy food or having bad posture can also cause TMJ pain. Most of the time, in these situations, your TMJ pain will be mild.
But since the TMJ is a joint, like your knee or hip, it’s susceptible to the same diseases and damage. Sometimes your knee hurts as the result of a sprain or overusing it. Other times you may have injured your joint or be suffering from arthritis.
The same is true for your jaw joint. Arthritis can lead to inflammation. Damage from an injury can cause severe pain.
Regardless of the severity of your TMJ pain, you need to take care of it as soon as you feel it. Early treatment is the key to preventing more damage and pain in the future.
Will TMJ Pain Go Away On Its Own?
Mild TMJ pain will go away on its own. More severe pain, however will require help from a doctor or dentist.
Most of the time your jaw joint hurts because it’s been overworked. In these cases, with a little self-care, your TMJ pain will go away on its own. You just need to give your jaw joint a chance to rest by going on a soft food diet for a few days. Over-the-counter pain medication and ice/heat therapy will also help you feel better faster.
If your TMJ pain lasts longer than a few days, you’ll need to get help. There’s probably something more serious going on in your joint. You’ll need a doctor or dentist to uncover the root cause of your pain and prevent more damage.
Treatments for more severe TMJ pain include:
- Orthodontic work
Does TMJ Go Away Without Treatment? (n.d.). Contemporary Cosmetic Dentistry – Dr. John Schmid – Austin, TX. https://www.cosmeticdentistryaustin.com/blog/does-tmj-go-away-without-treatment
Motion, B. T. (2021, July 12). Can TMJ Go Away on Its Own? Back to Motion. Denver Physical Therapy. https://backtomotion.net/can-tmj-go-away-on-its-own/
When Your TMJ Pain Won’t Go Away…
We’re Here to Help
The right response to TMJ pain depends on how severe it is. Most of the time, if you have TMJ pain, you can expect to feel better after a few days. However, if your pain persists that can be a sign of something more serious.
If treating jaw joint pain at home doesn’t help, you’ll need to seek professional help.
In that case, the TMJ specialists at PRECiDENT are here for you.