If you’ve been suffering from jaw and facial pain, you might have temporomandibular joint (TMJ) dysfunction. You might be able to take medication to get relief from your pain, but medication may not be enough for some individuals. In those cases, you may need a custom-made mouthguard for TMJ.
Keep reading to learn more about TMJ disorders, how TMJ mouthguards work, and when to see your dentist for TMJ pain.
What Is Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction?
Your temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your jaw to your skull on either side of your face. Disorders with this joint can be caused by things like genetics or injury, but the exact cause of TMJ disorders can be hard to pinpoint.
These disorders are typically accompanied by pain in the jaw and TMJs, ear aches, difficulty or painful chewing, facial aches, and locking jaw joints.
What Is a TMJ Mouthguard?
TMJ mouthguards are also known as splints, and they help to readjust your bite, easing pain and preventing grinding, clenching, and locking. These mouthguards are specially fitted to your mouth to account for your unique joint issues.
There are two main types of TMJ mouthguards:
- • Stabilization Splints — Stabilization splints cover your teeth and help reduce the pain that comes with clenching and grinding by preventing these movements. These splints may be made out of a variety of materials depending on your needs.
- • Repositioning Splints — Repositioning splints are used to adjust misalignment, usually overbites, by pulling the lower jaw back into the correct position. You will usually need to wear repositioning splints for the entire day until your pain subsides.
How Do Mouthguards for TMJ Work?
Mouthguards for TMJ disorders help relieve pain by correcting misalignment and muscle issues that cause that pain in the first place. While stabilization mouthguards stop you from overusing the muscles in your jaw by grinding or clenching your teeth, repositioning mouthguards work to prevent pain by bringing your jaw back into the proper alignment.
The amount of time you’ll need to wear your TMJ mouthguard will vary depending on your specific needs, but repositioning mouthguards are generally worn throughout the day and night while stabilization mouthguards are worn primarily during sleep.
Get a Custom TMJ Mouthguard From Your Mission Family Dentists at Heroes Dental
If you have pain or tenderness in your jaw that won’t go away, it’s time to talk to your dentist about getting relief. If you’re having problems opening and closing your jaw, don’t wait to get TMJ disorder relief.
The Mission family dentists at Heroes Dental can examine your mouth to determine the right treatment for your TMJ disorder and custom-fit your TMJ mouthguard for your jaw. For all your dental care needs, you can come see us at Heroes Dental in Mission.