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Is COVID Why My Jaw Hurts?

10 December 2021

Unfortunately, we’re not quite out of the pandemic woods yet. Whether you’ve chosen to get vaccinated or not, whenever you don’t feel 100% yourself, your brain jumps to “What if it’s COVID?”

Maybe your jaw started hurting, and you have some ear pain, and you’re tired all the time, and now you’ve convinced yourself that you caught the coronavirus. With updated information only coming out as quickly as scientists can work, it’s normal to wonder.

We’re not doctors, but we are here to help in any way that we can. If you have a serious medical issue, go see your doctor right away.

Symptoms of COVID-19:

It’s hard to pinpoint all of the symptoms directly associated with the coronavirus, as many complications have been reported. And keep in mind that many people who have had the virus ended up being asymptomatic.

Typically, symptoms appear between two days and two weeks of exposure to the virus (hence the two-week quarantines). Common symptoms reported by the CDC include:

  • Fever or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath/difficulty breathing
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headaches
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

It’s crucial to seek medical help if you experience severe symptoms, including:

  • Trouble breathing
  • Persistent pain or pressure in your chest
  • New confusion
  • Inability to stay awake or wake up
  • Discoloration in skin, lips, or nailbeds (pale, gray, or blue hues depending on skin tone)

Symptoms of Bruxism and TMD

If you have jaw pain and think it may be something more serious, it probably isn’t COVID, but it might be TMD or bruxism.

Common signs of bruxism include:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Jaw clenching
  • Headaches
  • Face or neck pain
  • Jaw muscle pain or spasm
  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
  • Tooth damage
  • Sleep disruption

Signs of TMD include:

  • Teeth grinding
  • Pain or tenderness in one or both of the jaw joints
  • Facial pain
  • Ear pain
  • Difficulty or pain with chewing
  • Locking or clicking of the jaw joints

While there is some overlap with COVID symptoms, jaw pain relating to bruxism or TMD is accompanied by symptoms centralized near your head. Unless you’re coughing a lot, having trouble breathing, or experiencing one of the other bodily symptoms of COVID, you can probably rule out the coronavirus.

How Do I Treat Jaw Pain?

Most of the struggle to eliminate jaw pain is figuring out what’s causing the pain in the first place. It’s essential to treat the core issue as well as treating jaw pain for long-term health benefits.

You can talk to your dentist or primary care doctor to discuss potential treatment plans. Many people working to relieve jaw pain adopt multiple approaches rather than a single treatment.

Popular ways to treat jaw pain include:

  • Therapy and treatment to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Relaxation practices such as meditation or exercise to reduce stress and anxiety
  • Sleeping with a custom nightguard to prevent unconscious grinding or clenching
  • Getting Botox injections to relieve tension in the muscles surrounding the jaw
  • Taking prescription or over-the-counter medications to reduce pain or inflammation
  • Placing a cold compress on the jaw
  • Physical therapy exercises and jaw massages
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy or biofeedback to stop grinding or clenching

The Link Between COVID-19 and Jaw Pain

It’s a stressful time for everyone. Just because you might not have COVID, you shouldn’t ignore your jaw pain. When left untreated, bruxism can lead to cracked or chipped teeth, and TMD can lead to a locked jaw. 

The link between COVID and jaw pain lies in the anxiety everyone’s feeling about the disrupted norms of society. And that’s totally okay. 

One of the most effective ways to reduce jaw pain is to wear a custom mouthguard while you sleep. A nightguard provides a buffer between your upper and lower layers of teeth so you can sleep soundly.

There are multiple options on the market for mouthguards. Over-the-counter boil-and-bite guards are the most cost-effective option, but they’re often clunky, uncomfortable, and don’t fit quite right.

Your dentist can fit you for a custom mouthguard, but even though these are more effective, they often cost around a thousand dollars, and insurance won’t help you out. 

That’s why we created Cheeky. We deliver high-quality, affordable, and effective nightguards right to your door. 

If you’re ready to say sayonara to stress-related jaw pain, it’s time to Get Cheeky.

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