How Long Does TMJ Last?

How Long Does TMJ Last? The answer to this question is condition-specific. The duration of TMJ symptoms might range from a few days to a few weeks. In certain cases, TMJ issues might last for a year or more.

How Long Does TMJ Last?

How Long Does TMJ Last?

The duration of a TMJ flare-up is, unfortunately, unknown. There is no universally accurate estimate for how long jaw joint discomfort can persist because its duration is contingent on several factors unique to each instance and the degree of the underlying injury. Painful episodes might last anywhere from a few hours to a few days.

The discomfort is usually transitory and can be treated with a hot or cold compress, a massage, or over-the-counter pain medication in mild to moderate instances. When the pain is severe, it might last for weeks and necessitate medical attention.

Chronic pain may result if the condition is left untreated. The difficulty in diagnosing TMJ dysfunction stems from the fact that localized pain and discomfort alone do not constitute a sufficient basis for a definitive diagnosis.


You can always go to the doctor for help, but they may advise you to wait it out in order to learn more about your ailment and its timing. This is critical for determining the best course of treatment.

What Is TMJ?

A sliding hinge connects your jawbone to your skull at the temporomandibular joint. On both sides of your jaw, a joint allows your jaw to move. Joint and muscle discomfort in the jaw is a common symptom of TMJ disorders, a subset of TMD.

It might be challenging to pinpoint exactly what causes TMJ dysfunction in any given individual. There might be several causes for your discomfort, including heredity, arthritis, or a jaw injury.

Many patients who suffer from TMJ issues also tend to clench or grind their teeth (bruxism). However, this is not always the case. Fortunately, TMJ issues are typically self-limiting, so the pain and discomfort they cause can be treated with self-care or nonsurgical methods.

Note: Some persons with TMJ issues may benefit from surgical therapies. However, this is usually only done as a last option after more conservative methods have failed.

Causes of TMJ

The jaw joint is complex, consisting of several bones, tissues, muscles, ligaments, and other connective structures. TMJ discomfort, like pain in any other joint, may have more than one root cause.

Here’s a rundown of the most typical triggers for TMJ attacks, as well as how long you should anticipate them to last:

Teeth Misalignment (Malocclusion)

It’s possible that a preexisting ailment, such as biting issues, is to blame for the discomfort. Without treatment, this problem may come and go throughout a person’s lifetime.

When you close your mouth, your top and lower teeth should contact equally. Underbite and overbite are malocclusions that might put you at risk for a TMJ problem. This condition necessitates an occlusal adjustment to realign the teeth and bring relief from the associated discomfort.

Teeth Grinding

TMJ, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is a common ailment often brought on by bruxism or the habit of clenching one’s jaw and grinding one’s teeth. The good news is that this is easy to correct, and there are several methods for minimizing this undesirable trend.

Evening use of a mouth guard is an option among the available treatments. The discomfort is likely to persist unless the underlying habit is addressed.

Chewing gum for extended periods, or eating foods that are firm and chewy, can put too much pressure on the joint and lead to pain and inflammation. The healing process can be sped up by limiting the amount of chewing done while resting the mouth.


Speaking specifically about bruxism, anti-anxiety, anti-depressant, and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) drugs are known to enhance the chance of teeth clenching, which worsens the TMJ.

However, before discontinuing these drugs, you must consult with your doctor. Many people have been able to treat their TMJ without having to stop taking their prescription.


Injuries can sometimes produce pain suddenly. Your jaw discomfort probably results from an event or damage to your head or face. Thankfully, when your wound heals, it will gradually go away.


The effects of aging may also bring on the degradation of the jaw joint. Arthritis can develop in the jaw joint, just as it can in other joints of the body, especially as people get older.

Note: A massage or other form of relaxation therapy may be able to assist ease your symptoms. Pain relievers and NSAIDs like ibuprofen, available without a prescription, can help alleviate inflammation and pain.

Symptoms of TMJ

TMJ issues can manifest with a wide range of signs and symptoms.

  • Tenderness or pain in the jaw

  • TMJ disorder refers to discomfort in the jaw joints.

  • Aching pain in and around your ear

  • Pain or discomfort when chewing

  • Irritating soreness in the face

  • Trouble in opening and closing your mouth because of a locked joint.

If you suffer from a TMJ condition, you may also notice a clicking or grinding sound whenever you open your mouth or chew. However, you generally don’t require therapy for a TMJ condition if the clicking in your jaw isn’t accompanied by discomfort or movement restrictions.

Is TMJ Disorder Permanent?

No. Jaw clenching and teeth grinding are the most common causes of TMJ discomfort, but luckily, the condition and its symptoms are not permanent. As a result, quitting this habit can make a big difference in the efficacy of management and treatment. Discussing potential treatment options with your doctor is a crucial first step.

Mild to severe TMJ discomfort often subsides on its own. It is also possible to reduce the symptoms and speed up the healing process with simple home remedies and self-care techniques, such as rest, hot and cold compress, and jaw exercises. Go to the dentist if you want an accurate diagnosis and kind care.

Those who have experienced TMJ in the past but are currently symptom-free may have a recurrence of symptoms if they sustain an injury to the jaw. It’s almost as if the body has some memory for the prior state and reverts to that.

Tip: Do not use this to avoid something that can hurt you. If you are aware of the possibility of a TMJ flare-up following an accident, you may take preventive measures immediately.

How to Reduce Tmj Flare-Up Time?

To lessen the frequency of TMJ attacks, you’ll need to do more than just cure the symptoms. You’ll also need to find and treat the underlying reason.

Identifying the Underlying Cause

  • A trip to the TMJ expert might be helpful if you have symptoms of TMJ but no definitive diagnosis of the underlying cause.

  • TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) can be identified by various methods available to a TMJ expert.

  • They do range-of-motion exercises and pay attention to any noises your jaw makes when you open and close your mouth to detect any indicators of diminished mobility, swelling, or soreness.

  • Tooth X-rays may be recommended to check for typical dental problems and wear patterns in people with temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).

  • If there is a concern for a problem with the joint’s disc, an MRI can inspect the disc’s surrounding tissues.

  • One component of this diagnostic procedure is obtaining a thorough medical history to look for indications of a preexisting condition, such as bruxism, joint illness, or other injuries.

Addressing the Underlying Cause

You must tackle the underlying reason to cure the TMJ flare-up and reduce the time it takes to recover. Your dentist or TMJ expert may recommend a mouth guard to gently hold the teeth in the appropriate bite and avoid clenching if they suspect that bruxism is the cause of your TMJ symptoms.

Rarely, TMJ discomfort might have a physical root in the jaw’s structure. The jawbone (mandible) may not be ideal for the socket. Realigning the jaw with TMJ surgery may be necessary to alleviate chronic discomfort.

Can Temporomandibular Disorder Be Cured?

Yes. Most occurrences of temporomandibular dysfunction are minor and hence do not persist for very long. They may come and go without worsening, and the jaw joint may recover without the assistance of a doctor.

Sometimes they continue for a long time and cause significant symptoms that might make it difficult to do things like talk, eat, or swallow. Treating the TMJ problem is a top priority. Visit your dentist or doctor if you have jaw discomfort, headaches, or earaches to obtain a proper diagnosis and treatment.


Symptoms of TMJ issues can sometimes improve on their own.
If your symptoms don’t improve after trying a single therapy, your doctor may recommend a mix of therapies or have you attempt multiple treatments simultaneously.

These medications, in addition to other nonsurgical therapies, may help alleviate TMJ condition pain:

  • Medication to alleviate pain and reduce inflammation. Suppose you’re experiencing TMJ pain and have tried over-the-counter pain relievers.

  • In that case, your dentist or doctor may recommend a stronger pain reliever, such as a prescription dosage of ibuprofen, for a short period.

  • Medication for depression that contains tricyclics. Such drugs as amitriptyline are often used to treat depression.

  • Still, they also have off-label uses for treating pain, preventing bruxism, and restoring sleep when taken at very low levels. Sedatives for tense muscles.

  • These medications are sometimes administered for a few days to a few weeks for temporary pain relief from TMJ issues brought on by muscular spasms.


Treatments other than medication are available for TMJ issues.

Type of Therapy Explanation
Mouth guards Mouth guards and other accessories (occlusal appliances). Wearing a soft or firm device implanted over the teeth can help alleviate jaw discomfort, but the mechanisms by which this helps are not fully understood.
Physical therapy It is possible that ultrasound, moist heat, and cold, in addition to jaw muscle stretching and strengthening exercises, will be used to treat the condition.
Counseling Counseling and education can help you identify and prevent the situations and actions that bring on or worsen your pain.

Keep in mind: Some common ones are clenching or grinding your teeth, resting your chin on your hand, or chewing your fingernails.

Frequently Asked Questions FAQS

Some related questions are given below:

1 - What Happens If You Have TMJ for Too Long?

TMJ dysfunction is not life-threatening but can cause substantial discomfort and stress if not addressed. A person’s vulnerability to mental health issues, such as anxiety and depression increases with the onset of chronic pain.

2 - Can You Live a Normal Life with TMJ?

You may still lead a full and satisfying life even if you have TMJ. Common symptoms of TMJ include headaches of varying severity, discomfort in the face (especially around the eyes and ears), and pains and spasms in the neck and upper back.

3 - How Do I Relax My Jaw?

It has been suggested that massaging the jaw might improve circulation and loosen tight muscles. Try this: with your lips open, use a circular motion to massage the muscles in the area of your ears. In this region, you’ll find your temporomandibular joints. You should do this often throughout the day and especially before bed.

4 - Can TMJ Cause Death?

When the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) becomes stuck, the result is a condition known as “jaw lock.” In Erdenheim, a dentist can help assess and treat jaw lock, which is painful, frightening, and dangerous but will not be fatal.

5 - Does TMJ Cause Memory Loss?

Each side of your face has one of these joints that anchors your jaw to your skull. Temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD) is the medical term for a problem with either of these joints. Misalignment of the jaw can cause persistent discomfort, affecting many brain regions, including memory, if TMD is left untreated.

6 - Does TMJ Affect Your Voice?

Pain in these muscles can spread to the cheeks and teeth, making it feel like it originates from swollen glands or a lump in the throat. This condition can lead to a raspy voice and swallowing problems. In addition, the nerves of the neck connect with the pain nerves that innervate the jaw muscles and TMJ in the brain stem.

7 - What Causes a Tight Jaw?

Stress, anxiety, teeth grinding, and even medical disorders like arthritis can all lead to tense jaw muscles. Massage, stretches, medicines, and physiotherapy are part of the treatment plan. A mouth guard may be an invaluable tool when it comes to protecting your teeth and jaw from damage caused by grinding them.

8 - Can TMJ Affect Your Breathing?

TMJ diseases and breathing difficulties go both ways; a respiratory difficulty can aggravate an existing TMJ condition and vice versa. Problems breathing might originate from a misaligned jaw and bite.

9 - Can I Sing If I Have TMJ?

The strain in your jaw and tongue muscles can lead to spasms and a limited range of motion, which can devastate your ability to sing. When your jaw locks, it prevents you from moving it or opening your mouth. If you suffer from TMJ, it might be difficult, if not impossible, to keep up with a demanding performance schedule.

10 - Can TMJ Affect Your Brain?

Those who suffer from TMJ dysfunction are more likely to experience chronic discomfort linked to impaired cognitive performance and, in some cases, even physical changes in brain structure. Moayedi and coworkers observed that people with TMJ had alterations in white matter in their brains.


TMJ syndrome generally improves on its own. After resting the jaw for two weeks, most of the symptoms go away. There are several home remedies for the TMJ condition. Aspirin, acetaminophen (Tylenol), or ibuprofen (Motrin, Advil) are anti-inflammatory and pain drugs that might help.