IIn some cases, the symptoms of TMJ disorders may go away without treatment. If your symptoms persist, your doctor may recommend a variety of treatment options.
In conjunction with other nonsurgical treatments, medications that may help relieve the pain associated with TMJ disorders may include:
- Pain relievers. If over-the-counter pain medications aren't enough to relieve TMJ pain, your doctor or dentist may prescribe stronger pain relievers.
- Tricyclic antidepressants. These medications, such as amitriptyline, used to be used mostly for depression, but now are also used for pain relief.
- Muscle relaxants. These types of drugs are sometimes used for a few days or weeks to help relieve pain caused by TMJ disorders.
- Sedatives. If nighttime teeth clenching is aggravating your pain, your doctor might prescribe a sedative such as clonazepam (Klonopin).
Nonpharmaceutical treatments for TMJ disorder include:
- Bite guards (oral splints). Often, people with jaw pain will benefit from wearing a soft or firm device inserted over their teeth, but the reasons why these
devices are beneficial are not well understood.
- Physical therapy. Treatments might include ultrasound, moist heat and ice — along with exercises to stretch and strengthen jaw muscles.
- Counseling. Education and counseling can help you understand the factors and behaviors that may aggravate your pain, so you can avoid
them. Examples include teeth clenching or grinding, leaning on your chin, or biting fingernails.
SURGICAL & OTHER PROCEDURES
When other methods don't help, your doctor might suggest procedures such as:
This procedure involves the insertion of needles into the joint so that fluid can be irrigated through the joint to remove debris and
In some people, corticosteroid injections into the joint may be helpful. Infrequently, injecting botulinum toxin (Botox, others) into the jaw muscles used for chewing may relieve pain associated with TMJ disorders.
If your jaw pain does not resolve with more-conservative treatments and if it appears to be caused by a structural problem within the joint, surgery make be necessary to repair or replace the joint.