Jaw Pain: How Covid Virus Attacks the Jaw Musculature

As we all know Covid is a new virus that has entered our society. Specifically, Covid affects the lungs and disrupts the air sacs in the lungs that convert carbon dioxide into oxygen, bringing inflammation and pain. Moreover, Covid is known to be a multiorgan disease, meaning it can affect multiple organs within the body through the blood vessels, one of them being the muscle.

How does Covid Affect the Jaw Muscles?

Covid can bring about jaw pain due to the virus affecting the receptors on the muscles. Covid travels through the blood vessels and binds to the ACE2 (Angiotensin-Converting enzyme) receptors on the muscles. ACE2 receptors are found on all the muscles in the musculoskeletal system, as well as the kidney, gallbladder, and intestines. Therefore, when Covid contacts the ACE2 receptors in the jaw muscles, it causes jaw pain.

Description of How Covid Affects the Jaw Muscles

The covid virus has a spiked protein at the end of it, and when it binds to the muscle’s receptor (which looks like a rounded receptor), it blocks the muscle receptor’s ability to fight off infections, it weakens it.

How does the Covid virus prevent the muscle from fighting off infections? 

Well, because of the spike protein receptors on the Covid virus binding to the receptors on the muscle, it does not allow other antibodies such as T cells or B cells (from the immune system) to bind to the receptors on the muscle to help with fighting off the disease. The T cells function to attack any foreign or unwanted virus in the human body and kill the virus via apoptosis. The B cells are in charge of remembering how to fight off viruses so the body can easily get rid of the virus the next time it comes around. Without these cells, the muscle is pretty much defenseless. Additionally, because both sides of the jaw muscle are connected to one another, if one experiences jaw pain on one side, there will be jaw pain on the other side as well. 

Jaw Pain Due to Cramp

However, even though the virus can cause jaw pain, some people have had jaw pain after recovering from Covid. For those who have had Covid and are recovering, the thought of possibly getting Covid again can be stressful on some individuals, causing them to be tense. Whenever we tense up, this includes clenching our teeth causing our jaw muscles to be strained and cause jaw pain.

Can Covid Affect the Ears Too?

Yes. Covid can spread to the ears as well. Since Covid causes inflammation to the nasopharynx, which connects to the Eustachian closest to the ear, it can also cause pain to the ear as well, so one may experience both ear and jaw pain when having Covid.

How To Reduce Jaw Pain?

There are various ways to reduce jaw pain. For starters you could apply a cold press to your jaw and try your best not to clench your jaw or grind your teeth.
Additionally, do not chew gum, or eat any hard foods, especially apples. And drink plenty of water. This will help your muscles stay relaxed and create less tension for your jaws.

If all this doesn’t help go, see your doctor and they can prescribe some OTC or behind the counter medications to help with your jaw pain. However, if you have Covid try your best not to go outside to prevent spreading the virus. 

OTC Medications for Jaw Pain

Here are some OTC medications you can ask your doctor about to help with your covid jaw pain: