You should talk to your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) doctor before taking any medications to manage your TMJ disorder (TMD). Even over-the-counter medications can have side effects and drug interactions that you should be aware of.
In this post, New Jersey TMJ specialist Dr. Ivan Stein discusses some medications that may be recommended to help with discomfort caused by TMD.
Your doctor will evaluate your symptoms and develop a treatment plan based on several factors. In many cases, your doctor will recommend you try over-the-counter medications such as ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
If these medications aren’t relieving your pain and discomfort, your TMJ doctor may move on to prescription-strength medications.
Prescription Pain Medications
Your TMJ doctor’s next recommendation may be a prescription version of NSAIDs or similar drugs. Along with these medications, your doctor may also suggest other at-home remedies, such as hot or cold packs and avoidance of foods that require a lot of chewing.
If your symptoms still aren’t being effectively managed, your doctor may prescribe other prescription medications and recommend other types of treatment.
Muscle relaxants — such as diazepam — can reduce muscle spasms in the face and jaw. These drugs can help you stop clenching your jaw, which could reduce your pain and discomfort.
Your TMD specialist may also recommend a splint or mouth guard. Depending on your specific case of TMD, your doctor may ask you to wear these devices at all times or only while you sleep.
Antidepressants or Anti-Anxiety Medications
Tricyclic antidepressants can relieve TMJ pain for some people. You may benefit from these drugs even if you aren’t suffering from depression.
In other cases, stress can contribute to TMD symptoms, and anti-anxiety medications can be used to treat this issue.
Get Customized TMD Treatments
In addition to these medications, you may receive orthotic therapy, ultrasound therapy, or other treatment alternatives. Many patients receive more than one type of treatment, so request a TMD consultation to find the approach that works best for you.
Call (855) TMJ-DOCS or (855) 865-3627 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Stein and get help managing your TMD.