Does TMJ pain have you aching all day long? Sore jaw muscles, or pain through the head, neck, and shoulders are all side effects of unmanaged TMJ disorder. Pain may cause chronic discomfort of the muscles, or just localized sharpness in the jaw. Surgery is often what most people consider as their only other option, but it can actually be much more effective to use non-invasive therapeutic TMJ treatments such as bite splints.
Having a custom-made bite splint guides the lower jaw into a centric relationship with the upper portion of the jaw, reducing strain on the joint. This allows for rest of the tissues around the TMJ, and re-trains the joint. The splint will also prevent excess wear of the teeth, due to improper joint function or constant pressure on the tooth enamel. The theory behind this method is focused on creating a healthy jaw-tooth relationship that guides the joint into a healthy function each time it is put to use. Splints also prevent overuse of the joint, which is seen in people that grind or clench their teeth often. Instead, a resting space is made to reduce the pressure on the disc and ligaments in the joint, preventing clenching or grinding completely.
If conventional home treatments such as warm/cold compresses, anti-inflammatory medications, or relaxation exercises aren’t enough, then it’s time to ask your dentist about a TMJ splint. The small, non-invasive device can be worn during the day or while you sleep, and is easy to make. Why are you letting TMJ pain control your life? It’s time to control your TMJ pain!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Paul Eberhard, Mockingbird Dental Associates
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