Temporomandibular Disorders (TMD) - Medications
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.
- 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.
- Narcotic pain relievers (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
What to think about
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