What is the initial treatment of TMJ syndrome?

Updated: Jun 02, 2020
  • Author: Vivian Tsai, MD, MPH, FACEP; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Signs and symptoms of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders improve over time with or without treatment for most patients. As many as 50% of the patients have symptomatic improvement in 1 year and 85% in 3 years. The following conservative measures should be attempted before invasive therapies, such as orthodontics or surgery, are recommended [11] :

  • Analgesics - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Muscle relaxants - Benzodiazepines
  • Moist heat and massage of masticatory muscles

A variety of other interventions for TMJ disorders have been proposed, including manual therapy, [13, 14] splints, [15, 16] laser therapy, [17] and botulinum toxin injection, [18] However, evidence supporting the use of these interventions tends to be weak or mixed.

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