A man holding his face reacting to TMJ flare-up pain

How Long Does TMJ Disorder Last

A TMJ disorder may last from few days to lifetime. That depends on the nature of your TMJ disorder. However, TMJ flare-up is when a sudden pain and other TMJ symptoms occur or existing TMJ symptoms get worse without warning. In this post, Dr. Khalifeh will discuss the topic of TMJ flare-up. What causes TMJ flare-up? How long does TMJ flare-up last? And, what to do for TMJ flare-ups?

What Causes TMJ Flare-Up?

There are many factors that may trigger TMJ flare-ups. Anything that cause direct or indirect injury to the Temporomandibular joint can cause TMJ flare-up. These factors include:

  • Stress
  • Sports injury
  • Clenching and grinding teeth
  • Wrong sleeping position
  • Opening the mouth for long time
  • Excessive gum chewing
  • Crunchy and chewy foods
  • Systemic conditions that affect the joints and muscles such as Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, Lime disease, etc.

How Long TMJ Flare-Up Last?

Flare-up of the TMJ can last between few days to several weeks. That depends on the underlying cause and the initial management of the TMJ condition. Above all, TMJ flare-ups are associated with the following signs and symptoms:

  • Pain in front of the ear on one side or both sides
  • TMJ headaches
  • Jaw lock
  • Limited mouth opening
  • Jaw clicking
  • Ear pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Teeth ache
  • Facial pain
  • Facial swelling

What to do for TMJ Flare-Up?

TMJ flare-ups vary in severity and seriousness. Accordingly, managing a flare-up should be tailored to each specific case. Mild cases are managed using Ice backs and over the counter anti-inflammatory medications such as Advil. However, treating the underlying cause of the flare-up is where to start. Generally speaking, for best and fastest results, consult with a TMJ specialist or an Orofacial pain specialist ASAP. The following treatment modalities may be used to manage TMJ flare-ups:

  • Physical therapy
  • Avoidance therapy
  • Cold or hot pads
  • Ani-inflammatory medications such as Advil and steroids
  • Jaw joint distraction
  • Trigger points injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Temporomandibular joint injections using steroids or Sodium Hyaluronate
  • Occlusal splints
  • Stress reduction
  • Sleep position correction

Stop the Suffering!

Are you suffering from TMJ disorder? Make an appointment with the best TMJ specialist doctor in Los Angeles, Dr. Khalifeh, or call his office @ 323-933-3855.


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