Temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder is an annoying, and often painful health condition that impacts your jaw.
Its broad range of symptoms, which often have a gradual onset, can make it difficult to diagnose, but the array of complications that can arise from it makes treatment important. Mouth guards help your jaw stay in position, alleviate tooth grinding or clenching and can be a simple but effective treatment for TMJ.
Irregularities or inflammation in the joint between your upper and lower jawbones can lead to TMJ disorder. This condition has a slew of possible symptoms, including:
While these symptoms are all commonly associated with TMJ, they can have other causes too, so be sure to consult with your dentist if you think you may have this disorder.
There are many reasons why someone might develop TMJ disorder. It's common in people who have sustained an injury to their jaw, as well as in those who tend to clench their jaws or grind their teeth. It's also associated with other health conditions such as various connective tissue diseases and both, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis.
The good news about TMJ is that it's treatable. Typically, your dentist will recommend temporary lifestyle changes, such as eating soft food, applying ice or heat to the join, and taking over-the-counter pain medication. In severe cases, surgery may be required.
In addition, mouth guards are commonly prescribed to patients with TMJ as they can provide relief from many of the most bothersome symptoms. If you're wondering how exactly do mouth guards help TMJ patients, you should know that this dental appliance, if fit correctly, will help by stabilizing and repositioning your jaw and by allowing your jaw muscles to relax. Your dentist may recommend you wear a nightguard if you grind your teeth in your sleep, since doing so can cause your symptoms to worsen.
While you can easily purchase an over-the-counter mouth guard, these one-size-fits-all products won't help nearly as much as their custom-made counterparts. A custom mouthguard is designed to fit the unique shape of your mouth to give the best results.
Our preventative dentistry team at Parkland Mall Dental Centre in Red Deer will walk you through your personalized treatment plan and gladly answer any other questions you might have about TMJ. Contact our clinic today to make an appointment.