Do you experience jaw pain, chronic headaches, or facial pain? You could be suffering from temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJD). This condition affects the jaw joints on either side of the face, causing inflammation and discomfort. When working properly, the TMJs facilitate smooth movements for chewing and speaking. However, if the jaw joints are mispositioned, it can result in a number of symptoms, including popping or clicking of the jaw, nerve pain, ringing in the ears, and more. In many cases, a custom oral appliance is the primary element in TMJ treatment. Fortunately, our doctors at Silverwood Dental can fabricate an occlusal splint or night guard to help alleviate the painful symptoms of TMJD. Today, we will discuss the benefits that this type of treatment can offer.
How oral appliances can treat TMJD
There are many factors that can contribute to the development of TMJD, including bruxism (tooth grinding), injury, or a misaligned bite. While muscle relaxers and pain medications can certainly help reduce discomfort, they only mask the symptoms. A custom oral appliance, on the other hand, treats the problem at its source by repositioning the jaw joints for proper alignment. Worn primarily during sleep, a custom mouth guard has proven beneficial for many of our patients.
Benefits of a custom oral appliance for TMJD treatment
Because TMJD presents varying warning signs for different individuals, patients may not always experience the same symptoms. However, a custom oral appliance can successfully treat a number of these issues. We will explore some of them in more detail in the sections below.
Dental damage prevention
Bruxism is one of the leading symptoms of TMJD. In fact, while tooth grinding and TMJD are separate conditions, they can be quite similar in nature. Untreated bruxism can eventually lead to dental damage, such as hairline fractures, tooth erosion, and damaged restorations. A custom mouth guard can protect the teeth and keep them slightly apart so that further damage is prevented.
TMJD can manifest a number of painful symptoms, including earaches, headaches, muscle fatigue, jaw pain, sensitive teeth, and more. Much of this can be exacerbated by bruxism and subconscious micro-movement during sleep. A mouth guard will cushion the teeth and keep the jaws in alignment, resulting in reduced discomfort.
Whether patients are aware of it or not, TMJ issues can interfere with quality sleep. Wearing a custom appliance can keep you more comfortable, allowing you to enjoy a restful night.
Avoid more invasive treatments
In many cases, a custom mouth guard is the only treatment necessary for the alleviation of TMJD symptoms. Therefore, patients can often avoid more extensive treatments, such as orthodontic treatment or oral surgery.
Custom oral appliances have helped millions of patients worldwide alleviate symptoms of TMJD. However, it is important to note that this type of treatment may not work in every case. Therefore, a comprehensive examination is necessary to determine the exact cause of your discomfort so that appropriate treatment can be pursued.
Learn more about TMJ treatment
The effects of living with TMJD are far-reaching. Symptoms may wax and wane, and they can range from mild to severe. However, one thing is certain – TMJD can have a significant negative impact on your quality of life. If you think you may be experiencing the warning signs of this condition, schedule an appointment at our Saskatoon, SK dental practice. You can call us at 306-242-5233 or contact us online.