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What happens during a TMJ treatment?

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Quick Answer

Medications, nonpharmaceutical therapies, surgery and corticosteroid injections are used to treat TMJ symptoms, states Mayo Clinic. TMJ symptoms that disappear on their own do not require treatment.

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What happens during a TMJ treatment?
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Full Answer

Pain relievers, tricyclic antidepressants, muscles relaxants and sedatives are medications that treat TMJ, explains Mayo Clinic. Prescription pain relievers treat TMJ pain if over-the-counter pain relievers are not effective. Tricyclic antidepressants such as amitriptyline also provide pain relief and sedatives prevent the nighttime teeth clenching that may aggravate TMJ pain. Muscle relaxants are also effective for pain relief if used on a short-term basis.

Oral splints, physical therapy and counseling are nonpharmaceutical treatments used to prevent further jaw pain, states Mayo Clinic. A device placed over the teeth lessens jaw pain, and physical therapy treatments such as moist heat, ice and exercise treat TMJ by strengthening and stretching the jaw muscles. Counseling and education show what factors aggravate TMJ, and help the patient learn how to avoid behaviors such as biting fingernails and grinding teeth.

Arthrocentesis, corticosteroid injections and surgery are more involved TMJ treatments, according to Mayo Clinic. Arthrocentesis is the insertion of needles to irrigate fluid, inflammatory byproducts and debris from the jaw, and surgical procedures are typically the last option used to repair structural issues that cause TMJ.

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