How Can Night Guards Help Prevent TMJ?

How Can Night Guards Help Prevent TMJ?

Aug 01, 2022

Each year, millions of people suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders. In most cases, the disorder links with arthritis, injury, bad posture, autoimmune disease, depression, stress, infection, and chronic bruxism. The condition often goes undiagnosed since it can come with varying symptoms.

Common symptoms include facial pain, jaw pain, jaw stiffness, limited jaw movements, the clicking of the jaw, neck and shoulder pain, ringing in the ears, headaches, dizziness, earaches, and dizziness. While not life-threatening, the disorder can significantly affect your quality of life.

Therefore, it’s crucial to see your dentist for diagnosis and treatment as soon as possible. The dentist will establish the underlying condition and help in relieving your symptoms. Contact our dentist in Randolph, MA, for treatment.

About TMJ Disorder

The jaw has two joints on either side of the mouth. The joints connect the upper and lower jaw and allow the mouth to move up, down, and forth. TMJ disorder happens when there’s an inflammation or irregularity in the joint. It affects our ability to talk, chew, smile, swallow, and breathe.

In most cases, TMJ is diagnosed based on your symptoms and history. For mild cases, simple lifestyle changes like jaw exercises, soft foods, ice packs, and avoiding extreme jaw movements like yawning and chewing. The doctor might recommend lifestyle changes and a night guard in moderate cases.

Night Guards for TMJ

A night guard, dental guard, bite guard, or stabilizing splint, is a dental device made of acrylic resin worn over the upper or lower teeth or both. Nightguards prevent teeth grinding and clenching or correct jaw misalignment.

The key benefit of using a night guard is to reduce the symptoms associated with temporomandibular joint disorders. Since the night guard prevents contact between the upper and lower teeth, reducing the chance of grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw. It eliminates the associated symptoms like pain, headaches, and earaches.

Similarly, the nightguard reduces the risk of tooth damage. Chronic bruxism can cause the teeth to break, chips, sensitivity, and enamel erosion. It will cause dental problems such as cavities, tooth loss, jawbone disorders, and tooth mobility, which often cause the need for complex and expensive treatments.

While night guards are effective, you should only use them for a short period. Long-term use can cause permanent bite damage. Notify your dentist if you experience new or worsening symptoms.

Types of Night Guards for TMJ

  • Stabilizing splint – the mouth guard covers the entire surface of the teeth to relax your jaw and reduce grinding.
  • Modified Hawley splint – the guard, covers the upper teeth, preventing contact between the upper jaw and lower teeth. It prevents teeth grinding and jaw clenching, relieving the symptoms of TMJ.
  • Nociceptive trigeminal inhibitions tension suppression system – the device creates contact between the upper front teeth and bottom teeth.
  • Repositioning splint – the guard repositions the lower jaw, either forward or backward. It would help if you only used the guard briefly as it can cause permanent bite damage.

To optimize the benefits of wearing a night guard, you can use it along with lifestyle changes like:

  • Stress management
  • Exercise and weight loss
  • Decreasing caffeine and alcohol intake, especially before bed
  • Orthodontic treatments like braces and Invisalign to realign your jaw
  • Jaw exercises

Getting Custom Made Night Guards

You can choose professional and over-the-counter guards for TMJ. They are cheaper, but they might not fit perfectly. Ill-fitting guards can worsen your pain and worsen your TMJ syndrome. Oversized guards are bulky and uncomfortable to wear.

Professional mouthguards are custom-made according to your specific mouth structure. They fit snugly over the teeth without causing a strain on the bone or jaw. They align your jaw and reduce TMJ pain and symptoms. A relaxed jaw means less discomfort and quality sleep patterns. Be sure to follow your dentist’s instructions when wearing the mouthguard. Contact our dentist for custom-made night guards in Randolph.

Schedule an Appointment Today

Do you have symptoms of temporomandibular joint disorders? Contact Randolph Dental Group to book your appointment today.

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