Treating TMJ Disorder with a Mouthguard

Treating TMJ Disorder with a Mouthguard

January 1, 2023

Is jaw pain a normal part of your day? Is there a dull or sharp pain whenever you talk, yawn, eat, or laugh? If this is how your day is, then it is time to seek TMJ treatment in Culver City. Whenever you notice a popping sound or pain that accompanies closing and opening your jaws, then there is a chance that your temporomandibular joint is out of sorts.

The TMJ (temporomandibular joint) is quite a tiny yet very important joint. If it works better, you will find it challenging to carry out basic tasks such as eating, talking, and laughing.

That’s why we recommend you visit our TMJ specialist near Loyola Marymount University in Culver City, CA whenever you notice your TMJ is acting “funny.” Thankfully, a host of solutions can help alleviate the symptoms. But before we check out the various options, including mouthguards, let’s get acquainted with some terms.

Connection Between Jaw Pain and TMD

Some people experience jaw pain that seems to subside without any treatment. However, some patients experience jaw pain every day, and it can be a daunting task to find out the root cause of the pain.
The TMJ is a tiny and delicate joint that connects the temporal bones on your skull to your jaw. The temporal bones are situated in front of each ear.

When you develop an issue with the jaw muscles, temporomandibular joints, and nerves connected to them, you can develop a temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). In other words, if there is an issue that might affect how the complex system of bones, muscles, and joints works, you will experience symptoms such as jaw pain, headaches, popping sounds when moving the jaw, etc.

In certain cases, the exact cause of TMD might not be clear. It might be an excessive strain on a muscle group that controls chewing that might arise due to bruxism or clenching of the jaw.
Trauma to the neck, jaw, or head may also cause TMD, which might even dislocate the jaw if the impact is intense.

Another category of people might experience TMD symptoms because of certain conditions such as fibromyalgia or arthritis.

That’s why our TMJ specialist classifies TMD into the following categories:

  • Internal derangement of the TMJ – It’s a mouthful that means that the jaw is dislocated, an injury to the rounded end of the jaw bone, or a displaced disk.
  • Myofascial pain – Most people experience this type of TMD. It causes pain in the connective tissue covering the muscles and muscles that control the shoulder, neck, and jaw.
  • Degenerative joint disease – In this case, a disorder or disease such as osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis affects the TMJ

How Does a Mouthguard Deal with TMD?

If you are lucky, the TMD symptoms will varnish after several days. However, if the symptoms linger a bit longer, you might need a TMJ treatment near you in Playa Vista. One of the ways that TMD is treated is by using custom mouthguard.

Mouthguards are usually the go-to option whenever the cause of TMD is bruxism. Some people have bruxism (teeth grinding), which exerts a lot of pressure on the teeth and the jaw. Sometimes, people might clench their jaws or grind their teeth while sleeping (night bruxism).

If this is the case, our dentist will get you a custom mouthguard that you will wear at night. However, you might need to wear a mouthguard during the day if you grind or clench your teeth whenever you get nervous.

Using a mouthguard will help reduce the pressure that jaw clenching or teeth grinding exerts on the TMJ. If you use the mouthguard for some time, you will notice the TMD symptoms will begin to subside.

Other Practices to Manage TMD

If TMD is caused by something else besides bruxism, then our dentist will recommend that you try out other forms of treatments such as:

  • Medications

Our dentist will prescribe some drugs that will help you deal with the pain associated with TMD, such as anti-inflammatories and pain relievers.

  • Therapies

There could be non-drug therapies that could help relieve TM symptoms. Some of the therapies that our dentist may use could be oral splints. Physical therapy can be used with moist heat and ice to alleviate pain.

  • Surgery

Surgery is usually the last resort, especially when all other methods haven’t been fruitful. Our dentist could perform different procedures, such as injections and TMJ arthroscopy.

If you suspect that you have TMD, contact us at Relate Dental Care to schedule an appointment.

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