TMJ disorder, or temporomandibular joint disorders, refers to a group of issues related to mobility and discomfort around the jaw joints. The temporomandibular joints are the joints that link the lower jawbone (mandible) to the skull. More than any other joint in the body, these flexible joints are constantly in use, performing actions such as…
Medication Treatments for TMJ
TMJ disorder is not a pleasant condition and can cause pain and discomfort. Although there are many contributing factors to TMJ disorder, there are different treatment options to correct and treat it, including medications. Sometimes symptoms of TMJ disorders disappear without treatment, but if they do not, you may get prescriptions to relieve the condition.
Medication treatments for TMJ disorder
Patients need to confirm with their healthcare provider before starting any medication, even if it is over-the-counter. Some medications have side effects such as weight gain or drowsiness, and some may interfere with any other medication the patient is using.
The dentist will probably have the patient try an over-the-counter medication before prescribing a drug. If the over-the-counter meds are not effective enough to alleviate jaw pain and other symptoms of TMJ disorder, the doctor will recommend a more powerful medication to ease the condition.
Acetaminophen can help relieve jaw pain momentarily, but it does not treat inflammation. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are effective for controlling both inflammation and jaw pain in TMJ temporarily. A type of NSAID drug is ibuprofen. Anti-inflammatory drugs are usually recommended to relieve pain and swelling if the inflammation of the TMJ is causing soreness.
Muscle relaxants may be used sometimes to relieve jaw pain and discomfort caused by a TMJ disorder. They function by relaxing the muscles in the face and jaw, and they help reduce muscle spasms. Since muscle relaxants are powerful drugs, patients will usually only have to take them for some days or a few weeks at a time. Diazepam is an example of a muscle relaxant used for treating the condition.
Tricyclic antidepressants can help alleviate discomfort caused by TMJ disorder. Patients do not need to have a history of depression to get an antidepressant. These drugs act by altering how the body perceives pain. An example of a tricyclic antidepressant is amitriptyline.
Corticosteroids may be recommended in case of severe jaw pain and inflammation. However, they are hardly ever used for treating TMJ disorders. If the patient needs them, the corticosteroid will be injected into the joint to provide substantial relief temporarily. An example of a corticosteroid is triamcinolone.
Botulinum toxin, or Botox, is another option for treating pain related to TMJ. Many experts believe injecting a small dose of Botox into the jaw muscles can relieve symptoms of the condition.
A point to consider
It is important to follow the recommendations for prescription drugs to prevent unwanted side effects. Patients need to inform their dentist immediately if they notice any adverse side effects. They may adjust the current drug or recommend alternative medications.
Do you suffer from TMJ disorder?
The medications to use for managing TMJ disorder depend on the severity of the symptoms. Consult a dentist to know the appropriate medication for you. Also, be aware that medications are not a cure for TMJ disorder, but they can remarkably relieve the pain and discomfort associated with this condition.
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TMJ disorder can cause an immense amount of pain and serious dysfunction in the jaw and facial region. It is necessary to see a general dentist for TMJ disorder treatment options. General dentists undergo extensive training that prepares them to properly diagnose and treat TMJ. Thinking only a medical professional can treat TMJ? In fact, dental…
Find out more about TMJ, a common jaw-related disorder. Visiting a general dentist allows individuals to receive a proper diagnosis, as well as understand how severe the TMJ is. Once diagnosed, treatment is the next step.Understanding what TMJ is and how it can affect one’s oral health is important. Since TMJ can also affect one’s…
TMJ refers to the temporomandibular joint, which is located near the jawline. When there is any sort of malfunction with the joint, the result is TMJ disorder. Sufferers of TMJ disorder tend to experience pain and difficulty performing things such as eating, smiling and speaking. TMJ pain has treatment options, including wearing oral appliances, practicing self-care…