Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) are commonly used over-the-counter medications to alleviate both the jaw pain and inflammation associated with TMDs. Ibuprofen (e.g., Advil) and naproxen are the most commonly used NSAIDs. They work best when given on a regular basis for a period of 2-4 weeks with a gradual taper rather than using an as needed basis (PRN). Narcotics are reserved for patients with severe acute pain and should be used sparingly. Acetaminophen is used to help temporarily reduce jaw pain but it does not address inflammation—Tylenol is a popular brand of acetaminophen.

Aspirin, other salicylates and newer drugs, such as Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, Naproxen, and Celecoxib, with diverse structures are referred to as NSAIDs to distinguish them from other anti-inflammatory glucocorticoids (such as cortisol, cortisone, prednisone and dexamethasone). This category of drugs is used to alleviate three major symptoms including, pain, stiffness and swelling and inflammation.


Joint inflammation, pain, and mild fever. Acute phase of disc dislocation, acute and mild pain with jaw movements. Both short- and long-term pharmacological management for patients who are not indicated for surgery.


Gastrointestinal (G.I.) effects: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, bleeding, and gastric ulceration. (Aspirin is contraindicated in patients with an active peptic ulcer.) Intolerance and hypersensitivity can result in over use. Some examples include, rash, stuffy nose, and even shock.

Increased bleeding time and mild hepatitis. Do not use if patient is already using any type of blood thinner.

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