Are Pain Medications Effective for Curing TMJ Disorders?

Are Pain Medications Effective for Curing TMJ Disorders?

Oct 01, 2020

TMJ disorders generally disappear by themselves, but in many cases, you may require TMJ treatment either from a physician or general dentistry. At times the symptoms of TMJ disorders do not disappear and cause discomfort in your jaw joints. Many medications are available to treat TMJ disorders.

Before attempting any medication available over the counter, it would be helpful if you obtained approval from your doctor or general dentist before taking it. Some medications have side effects like weight gain and drowsiness, while others may interact with medicines you are already taking for other conditions. Pain medications are undoubtedly prescribed by dentists and physicians to treat temporomandibular joint disorders, but only after evaluating your condition thoroughly.

What Is a TMJ Disorder?

The precise reasons for a TMJ disorder are often difficult to determine. The temporomandibular joint functions as a sliding hinge connecting your jawbone to your skull. One joint exists on each side of your jaw. TMJ disorders cause pain in the jaw joint and muscles controlling jaw movement.

The pain you experience could result from genetics, jaw injury, or arthritis, or even clenching and grinding your teeth when sleeping. However, the problem of bruxism, which causes you to clench and grind your teeth, is not determined as a reason for TMJ disorders because many people affected by the problem never encounter problems with their temporomandibular joint.

TMJ disorders are managed by self-care and nonsurgical treatments, including medications. Surgery is recommended as a last resort when conservative methods fail.

Kinds of Treatments for TMJ Disorders

Your dentist or doctor suggests over-the-counter medications before giving you any prescriptions. If OTC medications are not effective in helping you relieve jaw pain or other TMJ symptoms, the dentist must prescribe potent medications for easing your symptoms. To temporarily reduce jaw pain and other symptoms, acetaminophen is recommended, but if it doesn’t address the inflammation, the professional recommends alternative medicines to help you.

Prescription medicines are recommended by the doctor for a limited period if over-the-counter treatments do not prove sufficient to relieve the symptoms of TMJ disorders. The prescribed drugs are usually pain relievers and anti-inflammatories. Tricyclic antidepressants are also specified in low doses because they can, at times, prove beneficial for pain relief, sleepiness, and bruxism control. Tricyclic antidepressants are generally used to control depression.

If your jaw pain is significant and is also inflamed, corticosteroids may be required, although they are rarely used for treating TMJ disorders. If you need corticosteroids, doctors inject them into the joint to help provide temporary relief.

Botox is sometimes used to help relieve TMJ disorders related pain. Some experts think a small dose of Botox into the jaw muscles that are used for chewing may help to relieve TMJ symptoms. However, Botox hasn’t been approved by the FDA as a treatment for this condition. Studies are ongoing to understand how Botox impacts the muscles and nerves in the jaw.

The treatments mentioned are provided by dentists and doctors to relieve symptoms, but not all may be effective for everyone. It would be helpful to consider lifestyle and home remedies to find relief from the symptoms of your temporomandibular joint disorder.

Home Remedies for TMJ Disorder

You can attempt to learn your tension -related habits like grinding your teeth, chewing on fingernails or pencils, and clenching your jaw and reducing the frequency of these habits. They may help you to reduce the symptoms of TMJ disorders. Using the following tips is also helpful:

  • Begin eating softer foods by cutting the foods into smaller pieces. Stay clear of sticky and chewy foods and avoid chewing gum. This habit will help you to avoid overusing your jaw muscles.
  • Your doctor, dentist, or physical therapist can show you stretching exercises to strengthen your top and massage them yourself. These lifestyle changes are also helpful in reducing the symptoms of TMJ disorders.
  • Applying moist heat or cold to the sides of your face is also helpful for alleviating the pain you experience in your jaw joints.

You can also consider complementary alternative medicine techniques that may help you manage the chronic pain associated with this condition. Examples of alternative medicines include acupuncture, relaxation techniques, and biofeedback.

TMJ disorders don’t remain with you forever and often go away by themselves with pain medications. However, the medicines must be taken as recommended by your doctor or general dentistry and not picked up over-the-counter unless advised to do so.

Are you wondering whether pain medications can cure TMJ disorders? This blog provides information about treatments for this condition. Please read this blog to understand how drugs can heal you.

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