How Does COVID-19 Cause Jaw Pain?
The jaw pain Dr. Dieterich experienced is likely due to excessive mouth breathing during his first few months of recovery. He was diagnosed with the temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ). The TM joint is located where the ear and jaw meet and is often the source of jaw pain. With mouth breathing, it can cause strain on the TM joint since the mouth is open much more than usual.
A physical therapist claimed that COVID-19 infections make it difficult to breathe which forces patients to use muscles in their neck to help them breathe. As a result, the neck muscles that pull on the jaw can become strained and cause pain in the jaw and neck.
COVID-19 patients are also highly stressed which can cause them to clench or grind their teeth more which can also affect the TM joint.
Lastly, due to breathing issues, patients are also likely to hold improper posture which can cause a muscle imbalance and further jaw and neck muscle tension.