Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Syndrome Treatment & Management

Updated: Jan 14, 2022
  • Author: Vivian Tsai, MD, MPH, FACEP; Chief Editor: Herbert S Diamond, MD  more...
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Emergency Department Care

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 [12] :

  • Analgesics - Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) [13]
  • Muscle relaxants - Benzodiazepines
  • Moist heat and massage of masticatory muscles

A variety of other interventions for TMJ disorders have been proposed, including manual therapy, [14, 15] splints, [16, 17] laser therapy,{ref1726-INVALID REFERENCE} and botulinum toxin injection, [18] However, evidence supporting the use of these interventions tends to be weak or mixed.



Provide outpatient follow-up care with ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist or oral surgeon. However, if intractable pain is present, more urgent consultation is necessary.