Mouth Guards for TMJ Disorder
Patients with pain and tenderness in one or both of their jaw joints may be suffering from TMJ disorder. The TMJ, or temporomandibular joint, is the joint on either side of the face that connects the jaw to the skull. When it becomes inflamed, it can cause your jaws to click or pop when you open and close your mouth, as well as a variety of other symptoms that can quickly worsen.
For this reason, this problem should be addressed as soon as possible. Dr. Ben Ahlbrecht of North Meridian Dental Excellence in Indianapolis, IN, provides custom-made mouth guards for TMJ disorder as one of the most reliable and conservative treatments available.
Why Get a Mouth Guard?
Patients who have been unable to improve their TMJ symptoms with home remedies may require more definitive treatment. In these cases, Dr. Ahlbrecht will fabricate a custom mouth guard or splint to effectively treat TMJ disorder symptoms without the need for surgical intervention.
He will first do a thorough dental evaluation to ensure that there are no other contributing causes, such as dental cavities, tooth abscess, or sinus infections. He will then make impressions of the teeth from which he can fabricate a custom mouth guard. Because it is created from an impression of your smile, this guard is uniquely designed to fit intimately and comfortably for every patient.
Patients are then advised to wear the protective device while sleeping. In more severe cases, they may need to wear it around the clock until symptoms have started to subside.
The mouth guard is simple, affordable, noninvasive, and it has an excellent track record of success.
Mouth guards customized to your smile by a dental professional are often much more reliable than over-the-counter options. Such generic over-the-counter kits have a good chance of fitting improperly. This could cause further damage, exacerbate symptoms, and make treatment more difficult.
Mouth Guard vs. TMJ Surgery
A mouth guard is a conservative and highly effective form of TMJ therapy that can usually help the patient avoid an invasive surgical procedure. TMJ surgery is by no means a cure-all for TMJ pain and like all surgeries, it comes with a long list of risks. For those reasons, it should be considered only as a last resort.
The mouth guard is simple, affordable, noninvasive, and has an excellent track record of success. Therefore, most experts consider it the primary form of treatment for TMJ symptoms.
How the Mouth Guard Works
The mouth guard separates and protects the teeth from an uneven bite and clenching. This, in turn, reduces undue stresses on the joints and allows inflamed tissues to heal. Most patients notice an improvement in their symptoms within a few days. In the future, they may only need to wear the protective device whenever occasional symptoms flare.
Mouth guards address most of the causes that contribute to TMJ disorder. However, Dr. Ahlbrecht may elect to augment mouth guard therapy with other forms of treatment. These could include the application of ice packs, anti-inflammatory and anti-anxiety medications, bite adjustment, and jaw stretching exercises.
Eliminate the Pain of TMJ DIsorder
If you are suffering from symptoms associated with TMJ disorder, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Ahlbrecht at North Meridian Dental Excellence. He has the skill and training to carefully evaluate your condition, take whatever action is indicated, and get you smiling again. You can message his office online or call (317) 571-5000.
"North Meridian Dental Excellence is great! They've somehow cracked the code on making a trip to the dentist an enjoyable experience. Dr. Ahlbrecht and his team are all great to work with. Everyone is extremely friendly, nice and fun, while maintaining a professional, clean and private environment."Nick E.