What is the Best Pain Reliever for TMJ?

| Updated on February 28, 2024

TMJ or temporomandibular joint syndrome is a condition that affects jaw muscles and nerves of the temporomandibular joint. An injury or inflammation could cause this condition. It can cause pain while chewing, popping the jaw, swelling on both sides of the face, headaches, tooth grinding, clenching of the mouth, and inflammation. In some severe cases, it can also cause dislocation of the temporomandibular joint. The inflammation and pain caused by TMJ can be unbearable. Allure Dental provides help for TMJ pain. You can visit the clinic and check yourself before starting treatment and medications. 

Causes of TMJ

Multiple factors may cause TMJ in a person. Some of the common causes of TMJ include: 

  • Poor posture
  • Teeth grinding
  • Trauma to the jaw or teeth
  • Misalignment
  • Anxiety or stress
  • Excessive gum chewing
  • Orthodontic braces
  • Arthritis 

Treating TMJ 

Some various therapies and exercises can help treat TMJ. Standard therapies include Acupuncture, Chiropractic Therapy, and Mouth Guards. But sometimes, these therapies may not help control the inflammation and pain caused by TMJ. You will have to take medications to relieve the pain. Some of the pain relievers that you can take to control TMJ pain and inflammation include:

Muscle Relaxants

Muscle relaxants are commonly prescribed to treat TMJ-related pain. They are potent medicines and should be taken for a few days till the pain and inflammation subside. However, you must monitor yourself when you take these drugs as they can cause several side effects. 


Valium may be used as a muscle relaxant to treat TMJ. Valium is generally used to treat anxiety and helps treat muscle spasms caused by TMJ. It helps control stress and anxiety, which will then lessen clenching and night grinding, both common symptoms of TMJ. While valium can help with TMJ pain, it is a temporary solution. You must consult your doctor before you stop taking it, as you can experience abdominal cramps, anxiety, vomiting, nausea, shaking, and suicidal thoughts if you stop it suddenly. Side effects of valium include dizziness, fatigue, drowsiness, diarrhea, and weakness. 


Flexeril, also known as Cyclobenzaprine, blocks the nerve impulses that indicate pain to the brain. This drug is typically prescribed for an injury-causing TMJ. The medication should not be used for more than two to three weeks and should not be given to patients under 15. Side effects of the drug include dry mouth, drowsiness, constipation, headaches, and nausea.  


Also known as Metaxalone, Skelaxin is a muscle relaxant. It blocks the pain-causing nerve synapses in the brain. Individuals undergoing physical therapy for their TMJ pain have been prescribed this medication. This medication allows for a productive physiotherapy session by blocking the pain during therapy. You may experience vomiting, headaches, nausea, drowsiness, and jaundice while taking this medicine. 

Anti-Inflammatory Medications

Sometimes the soreness and the pain in TMJ are caused by inflammation in the temporomandibular joint. Doctors may suggest taking anti-inflammatory medicines to control the swelling and reduce pain at such times. 


Mobic, also known as Meloxicam, is a non-steroid anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID). It inhibits hormones that cause inflammation in the body. It is usually prescribed to treat arthritis. Since some types of TMJ are related to arthritis in the mandibular joint, it can also treat inflammation caused by TMJ. However, you must be careful when you take this drug, as you can have an increased risk of a heart attack. This drug bears other side effects: dizziness, gas, stomach cramps, constipation, diarrhea, and heartburn. 


Steroids are another type of medication commonly used to relieve pain in TMJ. You may be given Corticosteroids if you have significant inflammation and jaw pain. The medicine is injected into your jaw. You may also be given Botulinum toxin or Botox to control the pain in some cases.

Over the Counter Medications

If you have mild TMJ pain, you can even take over-the-counter medications to relieve the pain. Medications like Tylenol or Acetaminophen, Advil and Motrin (Ibuprofen), Ecotrin or Aspirin, and Aleve or Naproxen are used to control the pain. These over-the-counter medications can help reduce the pain and inflammation caused by TMJ. 

While all of the above-listed medications may help control pain and inflammation caused by TMJ, you should always consult a physician before taking them. You can visit dentists like Allure Dental and consult on your condition. The clinic offers neuromuscular Invisalign® to realign teeth and relieve pain caused by TMJ. 

Miles Evans


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