COVID-19 Breathing Troubles Could Cause TMJ Dysfunction

November 1, 2020
Avatar for Kelley MingusKelley Mingus

Cold and flu season is here, not to mention the global coronavirus pandemic that has changed the way we live. But while many of us have read articles and watched the news and know the dangers of these illnesses, doctors are discovering a new way that illnesses like COVID-19 and the flu are causing bodily damage.

One of the things we do know about the COVID-19 virus is that many patients with the illness have difficulty breathing. In some cases, patients may even need to be hospitalized and put on a ventilator to assist with breathing. All that breathing trouble is having serious side effects – including temporomandibular joint dysfunction.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction is a condition of the jaw where the lower jaw bone becomes misaligned with the socket which connects the lower jaw bone to the rest of the skull. This can cause pain, stiffness, difficulty chewing, difficulty opening and closing the mouth, difficulty speaking, a clicking or popping sound when the jaw is opened or closed, tinnitus in the ears, and neck, back and head pain that may include migraine headaches.

Temporomandibular joint dysfunction can be caused by a number of things, including genetics,n stress, and injury to the jaw. In the case of COVID-19 patients, TMJ dysfunction may be caused by the injury of the jaw that comes with the labored breathing associated with the virus, or the stress of having the virus. Worse yet, the damage from temporomandibular joint dysfunction can last far longer than the virus itself, creating problems that must be corrected by a dentist and possibly even physical therapy.

If you find yourself struggling with the pain and stiffness of temporomandibular joint dysfunction, whether as a result of having COVID-19 or another illness or from genetics or stress, Dr. Mingus has solutions. Many patients have found success with epigenetic dentistry, which helps deliver the solutions you want without having to mask the pain with painkillers.

To speak to Dr. Mingus about customizing a temporomandibular joint dysfunction action plan for you, please contact the office to schedule a consultation today and get on the road to wellness.