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Who Owns YOUR TMJ Implant?

Especially during this past year, it’s been brought to our attention by a number of TMJ implant patients having their implants removed that...

Social Security Disability Benefits and Temporomandibular Disorders

Those who suffer from Temporomandibular Disorders also referred to as TMJ or TMD, may find it impossible to maintain the responsibilities...

Pain Sensitivity and Genetic Factors: Act Two of the OPPERA Study

This month we present the last set of findings from “Act Two” of the Oral Pain: Prospective Evaluation and Risk Assessment (OPPERA)...

Symptoms, Sociodemographics, & Psychological Profile: Act Two of the OPPERA Study

Last month we began our report on findings in OPPERA's Act Two," the second series of analyses of data from the Orofacial Pain Prospective...

Temporomandibular Disorders and Sexual Intimacy

A recent posting on the TMJA website included the following request: "I wonder if you could include something in a future newsletter about...


Jan 16, 2014

For many people, short-term use of over-the-counter pain medications or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDS), such as ibuprofen, may provide temporary relief from jaw and muscle discomfort. When necessary, your health care provider can prescribe stronger pain or anti-inflammatory medications, muscle relaxants, or antidepressants to help ease symptoms.

Be sure to let your health care provider know about all the medications you currently take (including those that are over-the-counter or herbal remedies) and review medication side effects and possible interactions.

The Latest In Science regarding Pain Medication & TMD:

  • Pharmacological Interventions for Pain in Patients with TMD.
    "Temporomandibular disorders (TMD) are disorders that affect the joint between the temporal bone on the side of the head and the mandibular (jaw) bone of the face, and the associated muscles. Pain is the defining feature of TMD and the primary reason for seeking care. TMD may also involve joint noises or restricted jaw function or both. Different medicines are used to treat pain due to temporomandibular disorders (TMD). These include simple painkillers (analgesics) and medicines which reduce inflammation and treat pain (for example, non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, corticosteroids). Medicines (called benzodiazepines) are sometimes used to reduce tension and spasm in the muscles affected by TMD. In addition, some antidepressant medicines (called tricyclic antidepressants) are used in low doses to help patients with TMD and are thought to be effective because they reduce muscle tension in patients who grind their teeth. This review found that there was not enough evidence to decide which medicines are effective in reducing pain due to chronic TMD."
  • Interventions for Treating Osteoarthritis in the Temporomandibular Joint.

    "This review found weak evidence indicating that intra-articular injections of sodium hyaluronate (a natural constituent of cartilage) and betamethasone (an anti-inflammatory steroid) had equivalent effectiveness in reducing pain and discomfort. Occlusal appliances when compared with diclofenac sodium (a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug) showed a similar pain reduction, as did a comparison between the food supplement glucosamine and ibuprofen (a non-steroid anti-inflammatory).

    Future studies should aim to provide reliable information about which therapeutic modality is likely to be more effective for the reduction of pain and other symptoms (e.g. joint sounds) of TMJ OA. Moreover, because the limited evidence available only covers a restricted number of interventions, comparisons with other therapeutic modalities should be encouraged. One of the authors' concerns was the large number of trials which included mixed groups of participants diagnosed with TMJ OA, in addition to other disorders of the TMJ, which could not be considered in this review."

In Treating TMJ

To view or order a free booklet about TMJ Disorders, visit the National Institutes of Health website.

National Institutes of Health
National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research
Office of Research on Women's Health

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