Those who are looking for a way to straighten teeth may consider Invisalign®. It is a great option for people, particularly adults who want to fix their smile subtly. Because the aligners are clear and removable, the treatment is more discreet than traditional braces. When using Invisalign® to straighten teeth, it may take a little…
Nightguards to Help TMJ Pain
TMJ, or temporomandibular joint dysfunction, is a common condition that affects people of all ages. This issue occurs when there is extreme pain in the jaw joint, which connects the lower jaw to the skull in the front of the ear. Living with this can be uncomfortable and frustrating. Fortunately, relief is available to those struggling with this problem. A variety of nightguards are available for people who continue to suffer from this pain.
What causes TMJ?
This dysfunction has a variety of potential culprits. If possible, people should avoid these causes, though it may be difficult. One of the most common causes is teeth grinding or clenching, which people may do unknowingly out of habit. Stress and anxiety are other ways that this condition starts. Poorly aligned teeth or a misaligned bite may also be to blame for the dysfunction. A dentist can help the patient to get to the root of the issues.
What can nightguards do?
There are a handful of ways in which nightguards can help with this dysfunction. The primary function is designed to relieve tension from the joint where the pain is located. Wearing a nightguard will keep the teeth from contacting one another, so if grinding is the main reasons for the pain, the guard will keep this from happening. Also, the guard can be effective at realigning the jaw over time.
Customized for the patient
Another nice aspect of wearing nightguards for TMJ pain is that the dental professional can cater them especially for the patient. The dentist will make a mold of the person’s mouth to help ensure it fits properly. The nightguards are hard and made of acrylic, but they are also thin and should not hinder one’s ability to sleep comfortably. The dentist will follow up regularly with the patient to make sure the appliance is doing its job correctly. The dentist will also assess where the person is biting abnormally.
Types of guards
Patients will have one of two types of nightguards, also known as splints. The dentist will help the person select the right one according to the severity of the condition. The first is an occluding splint, which is useful for both the upper and lower jaw. The patient will wear this variety if they are having issues with misaligned teeth and if this is causing the jaw pain. There is also a non-occluding splint, which is for more minor problems.
Know where to turn
Your dentist is the right source to go to for help with this dysfunction. However, if your case is more significant, you should consult a professional that specializes in TMJ. This dental professional will determine which type of guard you should wear and will also make the appliance in the office. Suffering from jaw pain can be unbearable, but you can put an end to it once and for all if you get the correct treatment. Call a dentist today and set up a consultation. You could soon be on the road to feeling better.
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