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Medications For TMJ

If you have TMJ symptoms, such as jaw pain, jaw muscle tension, muscle spasms, limited jaw motion, or lockjaw, you are probably suffering a lot. You may even feel like they are taking over your life.

While TMJ medications will not cure your problem, they can assist tissue healing and make you feel more comfortable while we work together to reduce the risk factors that got your jaw in trouble in the first place.

Depending on your medical and dental history, your symptoms, and what we discover during your examination, medications for TMJ may be part of the treatment plan we design for you. If you are tired of suffering, you’re in the right place. We are familiar with your symptoms and have many treatment strategies to help you feel better.

To make an appointment at one of our five convenient offices in Manhattan, White Plains, Long Island and Springfield, NJ, call 212-265-0110. (If you can’t call, complete this quick form , and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Medications For TMJ At New York TMJ & Orofacial Pain

TMJ pain is typically caused by muscle soreness/spasm and or inflammation in the jaw muscles, tendons, and TM joints. The most commonly-used medications for TMJ at our practice:

Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Medications (NSAIDs)

NSAIDs that you can buy without a prescription, like Advil and Aleve, and prescription NSAIDs, are often beneficial in relieving TMJ pain that is associated with muscle fatigue, joint sprains, tendonitis, and arthritis. You may need to be on NSAIDs for a few days to several weeks, depending on the severity of your problem and how long it has been present. NSAIDs can produce side effects, so you will be closely monitored by our team while you’re taking them.


If your jaw pain, limited jaw motions, or bite changes are caused by profound inflammation in your temporomandibular joints (your TMJs), an oral steroid for seven to ten days may be helpful. Oral steroids can reduce and or eliminate joint inflammation and reduce your painful symptoms. While oral steroids are invaluable as a TMJ medication, they can’t be used for an extended period of time.

Analgesics (Pain Relievers)

Analgesics, such as Tylenol, are beneficial as a medication for TMJ symptoms if there is no inflammation. As with long-term use of NSAIDS, you will be monitored regularly for side effects.

Muscle Relaxants

Muscle relaxants are another medication for TMJ that are very helpful if you have muscle tension and spasms. They include brands such as Flexeril, Soma, Skelaxin, Zanaflex, Robaxin, and Baclofen and can only be obtained by prescription. Muscle relaxants are designed to be taken only for a short period of time. Muscle relaxants can reduce the intensity of sleep bruxism and help you get a better night’s sleep.

Anti-Anxiety Medications

If you have jaw muscle tension and pain in your face and jaw, we may prescribe a short course of low-dose anti-anxiety medication. Used as a TMJ medication, these drugs can help reduce the jaw muscle “bracing” that often occurs during stressful times. We will monitor your status regularly to make sure you’re getting the full benefits while avoiding side effects.

Sleep Medications

Any pain problem is more tolerable when you’re able to get a good night’s sleep. If you suffer from sleepless or restless nights, we may recommend a muscle relaxant for a short time. There is also a class of medications called tricyclic antidepressants, which in doses lower than what is used to treat depression, can quiet your nervous system, allowing you to feel less pain and sleep more restfully.


Sometimes we see a patient whose TMJ problems require injections to deliver medication to a specific site of injury. These TMJ medications are injected directly into the TMJ muscles, ligaments, or tendons. They include steroids, BOTOX®, lidocaine, and prolo-injections. Click here to get more information on the injections we provide at New York TMJ & Orofacial Pain,


Supplements such as melatonin and magnesium, though not strictly considered TMJ medications, are used to promote restful sleep and healthy muscle function. The way they are used in terms of dosage and timing varies from patient to patient.

If you’re struggling with jaw pain, facial pain, lockjaw, unexplained headaches, or a persistent toothache, you’re in the right place. Please call 212-265-0110 to make an appointment at one of our offices in Manhattan, White Plains County, or Long Island. (If you can’t call, submit this form, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible.)

If you aren’t located in the NYC region and need TMJ treatment, go to the American Board of Orofacial Pain‘s directory and look for a specialist in your area with the designation: Diplomate. Click here.