ENT Head & Neck Surgery Center

Rm 02, 5/F., Kai Seng Commerical Centre,
4-6 Hankow Road, TST Kln, HK
(near Kowloon Hotel)
Tel: (852) 3100 0555
Fax: (852) 3100 0556

Lawrence Chow / ENT Doctor

There’s Hope in the Treatment of TMJ Disorders

Think of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) as a sliding hinge – it’s the connection between your jawbone and your skull. In fact, you have one of it on each side of your jaw! But it’s also vulnerable to injuries and illnesses.


TMJ disorders are no laughing matter because of their painful symptoms. If you have been diagnosed with it, you have likely suffered from pain, soreness and tenderness in your jaw and/or joint. You may also have difficulty in chewing, sharp pains in your face and in your ear, and locking of the jaw, which means you have difficulty in opening and closing your mouth.


The good news: There are several effective treatments for TMJ disorders. You and your ENT doctor will discuss the pros and cons of each type according to your age, physical condition, and type of TMJ disorder, among other factors.  You may not even need most of these treatments as your condition can resolve on its own.


Prescription and Over-the-counter Medications


Your ENT doctor will prescribe one or two of these medications to relieve the pain.


  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers (e.g., ibuprofen)
  • Tricyclic antidepressants (e.g., amitriptyline)
  • Muscle relaxants


Since these drugs also have side effects, you should work with your doctor in determining the best possible combination in your case. You will actually need your doctor’s prescriptions for many of these drugs before you can buy them at the pharmacy.


Non-drug Therapies


You may or may not be prescribed non-drug therapies along with the medications. You are well-advised to at least try these therapies before dismissing them. You can then say that you have explored non-radical treatments first before choosing the more radical procedures.


  • Mouth guards or oral splints
  • Physical therapy including exercises for stretching and strengthening muscles in the jaw, as well as the application of moist heat and cold compresses
  • Counselling, or talk therapy, which will aid in reducing the triggers of TMJ disorders like teeth grinding


In some cases, both medication and non-drug therapies will be used to get the best results.  You have to be patient since the results aren’t immediate, especially when your TMJ disorder has been present for some time. You have to work with your doctor, physical therapist, and counsellor for a few weeks, perhaps even a few months, before results can be seen.


But when you still don’t respond well to these treatments, you will want to consider more radical options. Your ENT doctor may suggest arthrocentesis, botox injections, and TMJ arthroscopy. You may even consider alternative treatments, such as relaxation techniques, acupuncture, and biofeedback.



HK ENT Specialist

offering ENT services,

Hearing aids prescription,

Swallowing disorder assessment and treatment,

Head and Neck Oncology,

Sleep disordered breathing Management,

and Facial Plastic Surgery, etc.


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