What to Do If You Have TMJ Pain When You Are Pregnant

Pregnancy can cause hormonal changes, increased physical and emotional stress, and TMJ pain. Compresses that are hot or cold and facial exercises could help ease this discomfort.

You likely anticipated some degree of difficulty throughout your pregnancy, but you might not have anticipated jaw pain. Certain pregnant individuals may experience TMJ pain due to hormonal fluctuations and increased stress. Headaches, trouble swallowing, and jaw clicking or popping are a few examples of this.

Your doctor could advise face exercises, cold compresses, and anti-inflammatory drugs if you have TMJ pain. After your baby is delivered, your TMJ pain may go away, but it also might not.

What is the TMJ?

The acronym for the temporomandibular joint is TMJ. On either side of the jaw, there are two TMJs in your body. (You can feel them if you open your mouth and put your fingers in front of your ears.)

Disorders known as temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) impact the muscles, ligaments, and nerves surrounding the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). More than 30 of these illnesses can result in jaw pain and dysfunction.

How can pregnancy affect your TMJ?

Though a 2023 study revealed no statistically significant difference in the incidence of TMDs between pregnant and non-pregnant individuals of childbearing age, TMDs are more common in women than in men.

It's not always clear what causes TMJ pain specifically. Stressors that are physical or emotional combined with genetics could be the cause. The occurrence and duration of TMJ pain may also be influenced by your perception of pain.

Pregnancy can cause hormonal changes and increased stress on the body, which can lead to TMJ pain.

What are the symptoms of TMJ disorder during pregnancy?

Pregnancy and TMJ disorders can cause the following symptoms:
  • The sound of your jaw locking, popping, or clicking when you open your mouth
  • ache in your neck, face, or jaw
  • discomfort when masticating
  • headaches
  • tinnitus

What is the treatment for TMJ disorders during pregnancy?

Treatment-free resolution of TMJ problem symptoms is possible. You might not need to do anything if your TMJ pain is minor and does not interfere with your day-to-day activities.

Your doctor could advise the following if your symptoms are severe or persistent:
  • exercising to build facial muscles, relieve stress in the jaw, and improve jaw mobility
  • using methods of relaxation (such as journaling, yoga, and meditation)
  • consuming soft foods and refraining from using gum
  • Use ice or heat packs on your face
  • taking anti-inflammatory medications
  • wearing a mouthguard
  • practising good posture

What’s the outlook if you have TMJ disorder during pregnancy?

If you get a TMJ issue while pregnant, it might go away after you give birth, but it might also persist.

It's also crucial to remember that you could get TMJ issues after giving birth, even if you didn't have it during your pregnancy. Additionally, the likelihood of this increases if you suffer from PTSD as a result of the pregnancy.

Getting help if you have TMJ dysfunction while pregnant

Support is available if you experience TMJ pain while pregnant from:
  • your dentist
  • a physical therapist
  • your primary care physician
  • an expert in pain management
You might also want to talk to other people in a pregnancy support group about your experiences.


How to sleep with TMJ while pregnant?

We might suggest a body positioner or customised pillow if you have trouble breathing at night so you can have a better night's sleep. Use massage techniques and jaw exercises before bed to ease any tension in your jaw muscles that may have built up over the day.

Can TMJ get worse during pregnancy?

But it's not out of the ordinary for some women who were symptom-free for a while to return to my clinic when they became pregnant. This is because pregnancy exacerbates TMJ issues.

Do braces fix TMJ?

Braces can be very helpful in treating TMJ problems and enhancing general jaw health. However, not every incidence of TMJ can be resolved with braces alone. Get in touch with our Miami, Florida office at (305) 441-1200 to arrange a consultation and discover more.


You might feel pain in your TMJ during pregnancy. It may occur periodically or continuously. You can also have headaches, tinnitus, or difficulty moving your jaw if you have TMJ pain. Your pregnancy may cause your TMJ pain to subside fast or to continue.

Your doctor can recommend dentists, physical therapists, and other professionals if you are having trouble with your temporomandibular joint (TMJ). You might also find that a facial massage, cold or hot packs, and over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs assist lessen your pain.

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