The COVID-19 pandemic has shed some light on so many different health conditions that we have been battling with for years. It has even brought attention to some new symptoms and conditions that we hadn’t paid attention to before. But one thing we have learned is that many who have recovered from COVID-19 are experiencing some long-term side effects.
Referred to as COVID long haulers or long COVID, this means even after you recover from COVID-19, you might have ongoing complications that range from your heart to your lungs and head. While we are not yet sure of many ongoing symptoms, one common side effect that has been occurring in recovered COVID-19 patients is jaw pain.
Understanding COVID-19 and jaw pain
For patients who have recovered from COVID-19, the jaw pain might be due to excessive mouth breathing during the first few months of recovery. When a person experiences mouth breathing, it can place further strain on the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) because the mouth is open more than normal.
We know that when a person is infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, it can make it difficult to breathe. In turn, this forces you to use muscles in your neck to help breathe better. This then results in strained neck muscles, which then leads to pain in the jaw.
To add to that, COVID-19 patients are incredibly stressed as well. And when someone is experiencing high stress, it often causes them to clench or grind their teeth. As a result, people continue to experience jaw pain and soreness.
Get treated for jaw pain now
There is good news though. If you are suffering from jaw pain, treatment from your dentist can help. With oral appliance therapy, we can help relieve some of that strain that is placed on your TMJ.
The ultimate goal with oral appliance therapy is to rebalance the muscles in the jaw and eliminate any strain that you might be experiencing. Eating soft foods can also help to ease that strain on the jaw.
Contact Dr. Mayoor Patel at Craniofacial Pain and Dental Sleep Center of Georgia to learn more about how we can help relieve your jaw pain.