Dental Tips Blog


How to Avoid Jaw Pain

Posted in Mouth Guards

Jaw pain can create discomfort that lasts from sun up till sun down. Tension of muscles around the jaw, or damage to the jaw itself are often a common cause of pain in the TMJ area. These can be attributed to:

  • Stress
  • Sleep disorders
  • Abnormal bite patterns (crowding, missing teeth, etc.)
  • Grinding / Bruxism
  • Medications
  • Wisdom teeth

One of the most effective ways to prevent jaw pain is by keeping the jaw and muscles of the jaw from being overused. This can be done by having your dentist make a custom-fitted bite splint or night guard. These prosthesis are comfortable, fitted guards that keep the jaws and teeth from being fully engaged. Rather, they are kept in a resting position with the teeth slightly apart from one another. As a result, the muscles around the jaw do not become fully exerted or strained.

Many people notice results and pain relief from their splint or bite guard within the first 24 hours of use. The prosthesis is very easy to make. An impression of the teeth is taken, and a model of the mouth is made. The acrylic material is then shaped around this model of the mouth so that it will fit the patient comfortably. In a short period of time, the custom guard or splint is ready for the patient to pick up and begin wearing immediately.

Depending on the time of day a person experiences jaw pain, the guard may be worn at night or during stressful periods of the day. The commute home, a stressful night’s sleep, or taking care of chores may all be times that a person exerts the jaw muscles the most. Experiment with different times of the day to find the fastest way to jaw pain relief.

Posted on behalf of Dr. David Janash, Park South Dentistry


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