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Doctors' Answers to "Frequently Asked Questions" - TMJ Syndrome


These comments are made for the purpose of discussion and should NOT be used as recommendations for or against therapies or other treatments. An individual patient is always advised to consult their own physician.

TMJ [posted 8/4/98]
Question: I have been suffering with TMJ for the past 6 years. I am now 25 years old and still suffer with it, and actually, it is worse. I recently had an MRI done to see what was wrong. It was sent to my dentist who sent me to an oral surgeon. He told me that I would need surgery to correct the problem. I have been wearing for the past six to more months, a mouth guard. It helps me when I wear it at night. The reason for my writing is to ask for a second opinion? I know that nothing can really be said without having seen me, but is there any other alternative for me?

Answer: Wouldn't hurt (other than the cost), but realistically there aren't any alternatives except surgery in severe cases.

TMJ
Question: I went to the doctor last week because my jaw and ear were hurting so bad I could not chew anything. He put me on Lodine 500 mg, which has helped some but the popping of my jaw really hurts when I eat. What can be done? I can't seem to find much information on this subject.

Answer: TMJ is usually best treated by a dentist or oral surgeon familiar with the problem. Ask your dentist for a reference. Usually a bite adjustment will help. Occasionally, patients are experiencing bruxism (grinding their teeth at night) and there are nocturnal plates to help with this problem. NSAIDS like Lodine will help, but not eliminate the problem unless you address the mechanical problem causing the pain.

Fiortal
Question: I have been taking Fiortal caps for about a month. For the treatment of tension headaches from TMJ symptoms. I take one (1) to two (2)caps. every 6 hours. Please let me know of any withdrawal symptoms that might occur while reducing dosage, and how long will they last?

Answer: The potentially addictive part is the butabitol. Depending on the dose and the frequency -you might be physically addicted. Withdrawal symptoms can occur with continued use at high doses. There may be a mildly addictive aspect to caffeine;but, this is controversial.

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