If you’ve gotten a cold, flu, or other upper respiratory tract infection this year, you may have experienced a short, intense period of coughing, or a long, lingering cough that sticks around for weeks after your cold is otherwise gone. In either case, it’s not unusual for coughing to aggravate your TMJ.

Illustration of Partnerships

One of the things your cough is teaching you is how your muscles are working together. Although your jaw muscles aren’t really involved in the act of coughing, they work with the muscles that are. A cough puts a lot of demands on muscles that don’t normally do a lot of work. Muscles in your abdomen and in your larynx are being asked to repeatedly perform an act that is outside their normal parameters of action.

While these muscles are acting, other muscles are helping them. The cough rebounds through your body, requiring that other muscles help stabilize the body. These muscles in your neck, jaw, and head are also being asked to respond to something that is very out of the ordinary for them, too. As a result, you can experience sore muscles that aren’t actually participating in your cough.

Common places where people report pain after a cough include the back of the head, the forehead, and the jaw.

A Sign of Things to Come?

Although coughing does put your head, neck, and jaw under extraordinary stress, that doesn’t mean that the pain your feeling will always only be associated with coughing. Coughing is an extreme example of the normal forces your body experiences every day.

You may now only experience your jaw pain and headaches after a coughing fit, but in the near future, it’s likely that just talking, eating, or opening your jaw may result in similar discomfort.

The good thing is, if that happens, you’ll recognize the pain for what it is, and know that your jaw is the underlying cause.

For a non-surgical treatment to relieve your jaw pain, please call (303) 691-0267 at the TMJ Therapy & Sleep Center of Colorado in Denver to schedule an appointment.