Having Temporomandibular Joint – TMJ disorder is something you would want to pay close attention to. It is characterized by a painful joint connecting the lower jaw and temple due to excessive teeth grinding. TMJ pain is like no other, so dentists recommend using a night guard for protection.
You may think that there is no teeth-grinding involved in your situation, but it may be happening subconsciously while you sleep. So, there is no point in fighting it as it will not increase your discomfort but help with the situation.
How Is TMJ Night Guard Different From Regular Mouth Guards?
A mouth guard for TMJ worn at night is custom-made and different from the regular ones. Standard mouth guards are plastic protective device that helps safeguard the enamel from teeth grinding. But, in the case of TMJ, if the lower jaw is misaligned, it won’t work.
But the question remains why so? It is because your lower jaw wants to straighten its alignment, which a regular night mouth guard can’t really fix. Even after using the regular mouthguard, there will still be discomfort in the jaw, along with the head and teeth grinding against the plastic cover.
That is why we suggest getting a TMJ night guard. It serves 2 purposes; protection of your teeth from involuntary grinding at night and aligning your jaw to relax your facial muscles. This helps in the release of pain and headaches, plus opens airways.
Can You Buy a Night Guard For TMJ from a Pharmacy?
You can get it; however, the TMJ night guard available over the counter will not help; it will, in fact, worsen the issue. So, no. Do not opt for an OTC bit guard for TMJD.
Specialized TMJ Night Guards
These devices are also known as Splints and come in various forms. But first, let’s see what Splints or bite guards for TMJ do:
- Relax jaw muscles.
- Distribute pressure evenly across the teeth.
- It can reduce joint strain.
- Repositioning your jaw into proper alignment.
They are also referred to as permissive splints. They disconnect contact between the teeth and provide a stage for the jaw joints.
Repositioning splints for TMJ, just like their name suggests, change the jaw’s position for best alignment. What holds their position apart are the specialized indentations that stop the teeth from gliding away – the occlusal (bite) plane.
This type is only for the top front teeth to eliminate clenching and grinding of teeth. This type of NTI dental device for TMJD is quite helpful in minimizing migraine pain and other headaches related to the face.
Is TMJD Preventable?
Since this happens subconsciously, your contribution to the condition is less. There are many reasons for your issue, including genetics, arthritis, injury, etc. So, instead of thinking about what could’ve been done, start with what can be done. That is to start wearing a TMJ night guard.
While you may think that regular night guards will help with the situation and eliminate it a 100%, but in reality they do not. Why don’t you get in touch with a specialist from Modena Ortho and Dentistry in Houston, TX? Give us a call at (346) 966-3362 to know more.