Mouthguards Vs Traditional Splints
It’s estimated that around 70% of people have some sort of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ Disorder) at some point in their lives, and this number may be higher simply because many people don’t seek help for the condition, as they don’t experience any pain.
TMJ Disorder can affect anyone at any age, and its causes are varied and often unknown, but there are common symptoms and treatments.
What is TMJ Disorder?
The temporomandibular joint attaches the lower portion of your jaw to your skull and upper jaw, and it has a wide range of movement to enable you to talk, eat, yawn etc.
The joint is very complex and because it does a lot of work, both day and night, people often have trouble with clicking, pain in the facial muscles, aching in the face and neck, trouble opening their jaw wide, headaches, pressure behind the eyes, or earaches.
TMJ disorder is often caused by strain from grinding and clenching the teeth, or from misalignment of the jaw due to various factors.
Temporomandibular joint disorder is often a temporary condition that can be treated with stabilisation splints or custom mouthguards, worn for a specific period.
Once the cause is established, it makes it easier to offer the best treatment to alleviate the pain and discomfort.
Traditional splints usually consist of a hard, occlusal stabilisation splint that fits over the surfaces of either the maxillary or mandibular teeth to protect them.
They are often used for people who have a particularly severe clenching or teeth grinding habit at night, but the rigid splint can be uncomfortable, and many people will stop wearing it because it interferes with their sleep.
The splints can also help to realign the jaw, for relief from the symptoms of TMJ disorder.
An alternative to the traditional splints for treating TMJ disorder is the more comfortable custom mouthguard.
A mouthguard can improve the function of your jaw joints and facial muscles, and significantly relieve pain by aligning the upper and lower teeth.
Custom-made mouthguards also protect the teeth at night if you grind your teeth while sleeping.
Seek Professional Help
If your TMJ disorder is causing you pain and discomfort, it’s important to speak to a specialist who will diagnose your symptoms and provide the right treatment for you.
The team at The Dental Boutique can offer effective treatment through the use of custom mouthguards, as well as neuromuscular therapy to alleviate headaches so you can get a good night’s sleep.
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Discover excellence in everything we do by calling us on 07 5591 2262 or contacting us online and one of our friendly, professional team members will connect with you to discuss your dental challenges and goals.