How Long Does TMJ Last?

June 6th, 2024

Anyone who has ever lived with a TMJ disorder knows that it can have a significant, adverse impact on quality of life. A flare-up of TMJ symptoms can result in jaw pain, persistent headaches, difficulty chewing and swallowing, and more. The good news is that, for most patients, these ill effects are not constant. TMJ disorders tend to flare up, their symptoms temporarily becoming more acute. Such flare-ups are usually temporary, but at times, they can feel like they will last forever. During these times, it is reasonable to wonder: How long does TMJ discomfort last?

The Timeline for TMJ

For patients with TMJ discomfort, flare-ups can often last for multiple days. In extreme situations, TMJ symptoms may persist for a couple of weeks before they subside, offering temporary relief.

In some cases, TMJ symptoms may last even longer, sometimes for years at a time. This is particularly true of TMJ discomfort caused by bruxism (grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaw) or by arthritis.

Living with TMJ symptoms for any amount of time can be difficult, which is why it is so important to seek treatment sooner rather than later. Clinical intervention can help restore you to full comfort and quality of life.

When To Seek Treatment for TMJ

The symptoms of TMJ disorder may resolve on their own. This is very much the exception to the rule, however, and typically, it is necessary to seek intervention from a trained professional.

We recommend seeking TMJ treatment if you notice any of the following symptoms:

  • Persistent pain or tenderness of the jaw.
  • Chronic migraines and headaches.
  • A jaw that “locks,” pops, or clicks.
  • Discomfort while chewing or swallowing.
  • Aching pain around your ears or across your face.

If you experience any of these issues, schedule a consultation with Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery.

What Is TMJ Treatment Like?

Your TMJ treatment journey begins with a consultation. During this appointment, your surgeon will carefully evaluate your teeth and jaws, assess your condition, and confirm your eligibility for TMJ treatment. You will learn more about specific treatment options and have plenty of opportunities to ask any questions that you might have.

TMJ treatments can vary according to the severity of your symptoms. Some of the most common options include:

  • Lifestyle changes, including changes to your posture.
  • Injectable or oral medications.
  • Relaxation techniques.
  • The use of orthodontic devices.
  • Surgical intervention to correct deformities of the jaw.

During your consultation, your surgeon will let you know more about the treatment options best suited to your needs.

Seek Lasting Relief from TMJ Disorder

Living with TMJ discomfort can be challenging. Thankfully, with the right treatment, long-term relief is often possible. The first step is scheduling a consultation. At Carolinas Center for Oral & Facial Surgery, we have extensive experience helping our patients curb the effects of TMJ pain. Schedule a consultation with us and learn more about options for TMJ relief.