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What types of treatments are available for TMJ disorders?

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Quick Answer

Medications, nonpharmaceutical treatments, surgery and other medical procedures treat TMJ disorders, states Mayo Clinic. Hot and cold compresses, stretches, massage, and avoiding jaw muscle overexertion treat minor TMJ disorder symptoms, and acupuncture, biofeedback and relaxation techniques are alternative methods that can often complement most treatments.

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Full Answer

Medications such as pain relievers, tricyclic antidepressants, muscle relaxants and sedatives treat TMJ disorders, explains Mayo Clinic. Doctors give prescription pain relievers if over-the-counter pain medications are ineffective. Once only used to treat depression, doctors now use tricyclic antidepressants to relieve pain, and they prescribe muscle relaxants for use on a short-term basis for pain relief. Sedatives also prevent nighttime teeth clenching that aggravates TMJ disorder symptoms.

Oral splints, physical therapy and counseling are among the nonpharmaceutical TMJ disorder treatments, according to Mayo Clinic. A device inserted over the teeth often reduces jaw pain, and counseling and education informs an individual of what causes pain so that he can avoid those triggers. Doctors may use corticosteroid and sometimes botulinum toxin injections to reduce TMJ symptoms. Doctors may use arthrocentesis, the insertion of needles into the jaw to irrigate debris and inflammatory byproducts, after other methods are ineffective, and they may consider surgery after all treatment choices have failed.

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