Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD)
You can use medicine to relieve the pain of a temporomandibular disorder (TMD). Short-term use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), narcotics, muscle relaxants, or antidepressant medicines can relieve or reduce inflammation, control pain, and relax the jaw muscles.
- Reference Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen or naproxen, are used to treat inflammation and pain. These are the most commonly used medicines for TMDs.
- Reference Narcotic pain relievers Opens New Window (such as acetaminophen with codeine or hydrocodone) are used in some cases of acute, severe pain. Because narcotics are addictive, they are usually not taken long-term.
- Muscle relaxants, such as diazepam (Valium) or cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril), are used in some cases of acute pain or prolonged muscle spasm. Because they are addictive, sedating, and can cause depression or make it worse, muscle relaxants should be taken at the lowest possible dose and are usually not used long-term.
- Low doses of tricyclic antidepressants, such as amitriptyline, are used in cases of chronic pain. These medicines might also be used if you have a disrupted sleep pattern, which can cause you to grind your teeth (Reference bruxism).
What to think about
Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) do not cure TMDs. But they may reduce pain and inflammation, which allows you to do prescribed jaw exercises that can start the healing process. NSAIDs may be prescribed on a regular basis for 1 to 2 weeks to help reduce inflammation even though the pain has subsided.
Your doctor may prescribe an antidepressant, not necessarily because you suffer from depression but to help treat chronic pain or nighttime bruxism.
|By:||Reference Healthwise Staff||Last Revised: Reference June 11, 2012|
|Medical Review:||Reference Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Reference Arden Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry