TMJ |3 min read

How Long Does a TMJ Flare-Up Last?

A woman having TMJ flare-up pain holding her jaw.

If you’ve ever had clicking, popping, or a tight feeling in your jaw joints, a temporomandibular joint disorder may be to blame. The pain can be mildly uncomfortable to practically debilitating.

The Giesy Family & Implant Dentistry team understands that when a TMJ flare-up occurs, your top concerns are:

  • Finding the root cause
  • Alleviating symptoms
  • Learning if flare-ups can be prevented

First, let’s learn what the TMJ is and what causes the joint to become inflamed.

What is TMJ?

TMJ is the shortened name of the physical joints that connect your lower jaw to your skull. They’re the joints that allow you to open your mouth to chew, talk, and yawn.

Sometimes the joint becomes inflamed. An inflamed TMJ can affect your ability to chew healthy foods and communicate clearly.

The technical name for this disorder is TMD, but TMD and TMJ have become interchangeable when referring to the swelling and pain related to the jaw joint.

Click below to learn more about Dr. Giesy’s approach to TMJ care.

Causes and symptoms of a TMJ flare-up

There are many possible causes and symptoms of an inflamed TMJ, including:

  • Nighttime clenching and grinding
  • Arthritis
  • Head and neck injuries
  • Missing teeth
  • Misaligned bite
  • Headaches
  • Joint pain
  • Clicking or popping in the jaw when swallowing or eating
  • Trouble opening your mouth all the way

For more information on this, visit our TMJ website:

How long does TMJ last?

Depending on the cause of the inflammation and treatment, the flare-up can last from a few days to a few weeks. In some cases, it may be a chronic condition requiring a more involved treatment plan.

The cause of an inflamed joint may be temporary. A blow to the jaw may cause inflammation but will subside with time. Other causes, such as a misaligned bite or missing teeth, may create a cycle of symptoms that’ll only stop once the root cause is fixed.

How do I get rid of TMJ?

Once the cause of your TMJ flare-up is figured out, a treatment option can be recommended by a professional.

Simple solutions like anti-inflammatory pain relievers, hot and cold packs, and a soft food diet may work for temporary cases. At the same time, more involved treatments like orthodontics or an oral appliance worn at night may be required.

If your TMJ is caused by missing teeth, then implants, crowns, or bridges may be used to build your bite back up, reducing pressure on the jaw joint.

Why contact Dr. Giesy and his team at Giesy Family & Implant Dentistry?

Dr. Michael Giesy is board-certified in craniofacial pain (TMJ) and owns the adjoining TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre of Washington, which was selected to join the International Branch of TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centre.

He has extensive experience caring for patients with TMJ disorders and offers a personalized approach since there is no one-size-fits-all solution for TMD.

Dr. Giesy will help you diagnose the cause of your TMJ pain and provide treatment to help you live a better, longer life.

Giesy Family & Implant Dentistry is located in Tacoma, WA… This text opens a new tab to our Google listing…. We serve families from all over the Pacific Northwest, including Ruston, Spanaway, Gig Harbor, Lakewood, University Place, Fircrest, Olympia, Puyallup, Federal Way, Fife, and Port Orchard.