If you are plagued by headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and pops or clicks when you open your mouth, Dr. Jay Ajmo offers mouth and night guards as a non-invasive treatment to eliminate TMJ-related discomfort at his Palm Beach Gardens, FL, practice. If you are suffering from TMJ disorder, take the first step toward pain relief and contact us today.
Mouth and night guards, also known as occlusal splints, are oral devices used in treating TMJ disorder. The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) joins your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull in front of the ears. Capable of moving up, down, and side-to-side, these joints are essential in eating and speaking. Your TMJ is often under a great deal of stress since it is used so often.
Mouth and night guards combat the effects of TMJ disorder in several ways. They help protect your teeth from the wear and tear of grinding, help craniofacial muscles relax, and reposition the jaw.
The slightest misalignment of your bite can shift the jaw out of place and cause pain and swelling. One of the most common culprits of TMJ disorder is bruxism or teeth grinding. Many people grind their teeth at night unconsciously, which can stress the TMJ, as well as wear down your tooth enamel.
Mouth and night guards combat the effects of TMJ disorder in several ways. They help protect your teeth from the wear and tear of grinding, help craniofacial muscles relax, and reposition the jaw. Like a retainer, these oral devices slip over the teeth, usually the upper jaw.
Patients are typically advised to wear the guard over a period of six months, to become accustomed to proper positioning. At the end of this period, we will determine whether further treatment is necessary.
Depending on your needs, Dr. Ajmo may recommend either the nightguard to wear when you sleep or the mouth guard (occlusal splint) which must be worn at all times. Each guard is custom-made, based on impressions of your mouth, to ensure the greatest comfort and relief.
Since this oral device is a long-term treatment, proper care is very important to ensure successful results. You should clean your mouth guard thoroughly before and after each use, either by rinsing it with cold water, mouthwash, or mild soap.
When not in use, you should store your guard in a firm, perforated container that permits air circulation. The container, however, should be strong enough to protect against high temperatures that could distort the guard. You should bring the oral device with you to each dental appointment so that we can ensure that it is still working properly.
While a mouth or night guard is often all you may need to correct TMJ disorder, it may be necessary to combine it with dental work. If pain and swelling are particularly severe, we may prescribe medication.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation or TMJ surgery can also provide pain relief for some patients, but are usually a last resort after the other, more conservative treatment methods, have failed.
Dr. Ajmo and his expert team strive to ensure patient comfort through quality care. Schedule your consultation today to learn how we can help alleviate your TMJ-related pain through mouth and night guards.