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Drug-Free TMJ Treatment Won’t Get You in Trouble at Work

In a challenging job market, people want to hold onto good jobs. Unfortunately, temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ) can make it very hard to do. TMJ can cause pain that makes it hard for you to work. It may make it difficult to speak with coworkers, and if your TMJ triggers migraines, it may lead you to miss work or be less productive. Chronic absenteeism puts jobs at risk for every migraine and TMJ sufferer.

Treating TMJ should help improve your productivity, but unfortunately many TMJ treatments are drug-based, and this can also cause problems at your workplace. However, drug-free TMJ treatments can give you relief without putting your job at risk.

Older man rubbing his jaw in pain.

Loss of Productivity

All drugs have side effects. Some of the side effects of drugs used to treat TMJ and migraines include cognitive impairment, loss of focus, tiredness, and others that can make you less productive at work.

Some people find that productivity is impacted only for a short time when they start drug treatment. Others find that their productivity slumps every time they take a drug. This long-term dip in productivity can impact your job rating and may lead to reprimands and potential discipline.


Sometimes, a drug can have such an impact on your ability to work that you’ll need to either not come in or leave early when you take it. This is especially true if your job is safety sensitive and impairment could put people at risk.

To your boss, it doesn’t matter whether you’re missing work because of your TMJ and migraines or because of your TMJ treatment: missed work is missed work. And it can lead to your firing.

Suspicion of Illicit Drug Use

Some side effects of drug-based TMJ therapy may look suspicious. You may have trouble concentrating, slurred speech, unfocused eyes, or dilated pupils. To an employer, this may look suspiciously like illicit drug use. You may be accused of working under the influence, and you may even be required to take a drug test to prove that you’re not.

Depending on the type of drug therapy, you may fail a mandatory drug test. This can lead you to be fired, even if your doctor says you were taking prescribed medication, and giving their opinion that you were not impaired as a result.

This may seem improbable, but it happens, including a woman who was fired for doctor-prescribed migraine medications. She fought for almost three years to get compensation for what was ultimately determined to be a wrongful firing.

A Drug-Free Treatment Option

Holding onto your job can be hard enough with TMJ. You may not want a treatment that causes as many problems as it solves. The good news is that not all TMJ treatments involve drugs.

Dr. Nelson Clements is a neuromuscular dentist who offers a completely drug-free TMJ treatment and migraine treatment. It looks at the potential causes of your condition, which may include an imbalanced bite.

If an imbalanced bite is found to play a role in your TMJ, rebalancing your bite can help treat your condition. It can alleviate pain and reduce the frequency and severity of migraine attacks.

And treatment can be noninvasive. It may involve just a simple electronic massage (transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, or TENS). Or it may involve a bite guard that you may wear to hold your jaw in place. Most of the time, this is removable, so it won’t interfere with your work, and many people only wear it at night for treatment.

Are you concerned about the impact drug therapy might have on your job? Would you like to learn if drug-free treatment can help your TMJ or migraines in Valdosta, GA? Please call (229) 242-5511 today for an appointment with TMJ dentist Dr. Nelson Clements.

August 10th, 2017|TMJ|