Treatment

Recommendations to the patient may include the following:

1. Use ice or hot packs to the reduce pain and muscle spasm.

2. Eat soft foods to reduce chewing stress (no chewing gum or ice).

3. As much as possible, disengage the teeth by keeping them slightly apart.

4. Control body position: do not sit with the chin resting on the hand and do not sleep with the pillow pushing against the TMJ.

The physician may prescribe nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs as indicated by the patient's discomfort. Muscle relaxants may be helpful. If narcotic use is necessary, it should be of limited duration.89

Many patients with chronic TMJ have been treated with oral appliances; however, controlled studies have shown no benefit for these over placebo. 5

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