TMJ (Jaw ache) – the facts

TMJ is becoming ever more common at the moment with patients frequentlycomplaining of jaw ache. But what is it, what causes it and how to control or cure it? In this blog we will address these and also the reasons why its more common in covid times.


TMJ is the collective term for any conditions around the temporomandibular joint or the associated muscles. The temporomandibular joint is a synovial joint and is therefore like your knee. The temporomandibular joint allows you to eat, talk, yawn and chew and should allow all these activities in a pain-free way.

Signs and symptoms

The signs and symptoms of TMJ include –

Pain on chewing or opening widely
Pain radiating to the neck, ear or head
Unable to open widely or lock jaw
Clicking of the joint on opening or closing
Uneven bite
TMJ - Jaw Ache

Causes of TMJ

There can be many causes for TMJ and while there can be one cause there can also be multiple causes.

Grinding / clenching
Loss of multiple back teeth or malocclusion


Since the emergence of Covid 19 we have seen an increase in the amount of people presenting with jaw ache. The author speculates that this is coming down to increased stress and anxiety caused by Covid-19. Increased stress leads to an increase in grinding/clenching of the teeth which is a major cause of TMJ.


Identification of the causing factors
Removal of stress or stress control
Application of hot/cold packs to reduce inflammation
Controlling diet avoiding hard/chewy/sticky foods for a period
Avoiding over opening or stretching of the joint i.e., stifle a yawn
Anti-inflammatories can be used to reduce inflammation for a time
Nightguard / splint can be used to help reduce clenching/grinding
Correcting malocclusion using orthodontic/restorative treatment
Surgical intervention

Worried about TMJ or feel like you’re developing TMJ don’t hesitate to contact us on 0214305569 or