TMJ: Treat the Cause, Not Just the Pain

young man feeling pain holding his cheek with hand If you have been diagnosed with TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder) or if you constantly have muscle aches, headaches, and pain in the jaw, your solution may be to just take a pain reliever whenever the pain flares up. However, there are some very good reasons why you should treat the problem instead of just popping pain meds.

The problems with pain medication

It is a very easy solution to take medication such as ibuprofen or aspirin when you are in pain – these are easy to get, inexpensive, and you probably have some in your medicine cabinet at home. However, there are still some things to watch out for if you often use over-the-counter pain pills:

• If you are pregnant you should be especially careful about what drugs you take. You may be advised to not take any pain relievers at all during the last months of your pregnancy (ask your doctor what you should and shouldn’t take for pain).

• Some medications, such as Advil PM, have ibuprofen in them. You may be taking more than you need if you take ibuprofen and then soon afterwards take another kind of medicine.

• Taking pain medication for many years consistently can lead to problems with your digestive system, your kidneys, or your heart.

If over-the-counter medication isn’t enough to help your pain and you start taking a stronger, prescription pain reliever, this can lead to a whole different set of health issues.

Treat the TMJ instead

If you are taking medication for jaw pain and headaches all the time, you might consider a visit to your dentist. He or she can determine if your problem is TMJ and then can offer you treatment solutions. You might need a bite guard, to change the position of your jaw, or having your teeth straightened or replacing a lost tooth can help.

It is important to find the cause of your jaw pain so that a solution can be found – constantly taking pain medication is no way to live. Contact the Konig Center for Cosmetic and Comprehensive Dentistry in Houston, Texas, for help with your TMJ. Call (713) 668-2289 today!

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