Custom Mouthguards for TMJ Disorders
The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is one of the most complicated joints in the entire body. It’s the point where the jawbone meets the cranium. Given all of the motions required to bite, chew, speak, and make certain facial expressions, it’s no surprise that the joint could function improperly. This is known as a TMJ disorder (TMD), and is perhaps best known for the clicking, popping, and locking in the jaw joint.
Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky offers numerous options for TMJ treatment at his Edmonton, AB dental care centre. When the TMJ disorder is linked to teeth grinding (bruxism), the ideal treatment tends to involve a custom mouthguard. Let’s discuss why.
The Link Between Teeth Grinding and TMJ Disorders
Teeth grinding is the gnashing, clenching, and shifting of the teeth during the night. This results in wear and tear on the teeth as well as excessive stress on the jaw joint. Over time, the stress on the jaw joint can cause damage to the cartilage, nerves, muscles, and surrounding soft tissues, resulting in a TMJ disorder.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Teeth grinding is typically the result of poor dental alignment. When your teeth cannot find a comfortable resting position during the night, your jaw will shift to try to find an ideal at-rest spot. Excessive stress can also cause or contribute to teeth grinding.
How a Mouthguard Can Help Treat Teeth Grinding
A custom mouthguard is worn during the night. When the mouthguard is in place, it prevents direct contact between the upper teeth and the lower teeth. This relieves the stress on the jaw joint and also reduces the amount of damage sustained by the teeth. In the process, that can minimize the severity of a TMJ disorder.
Your candidacy for a custom mouthguard can be determined during a consultation at our Edmonton dental care centre.
The Benefits of Mouthguards for Teeth Grinding and TMJ
The benefits of using a custom mouthguard for TMJ disorders caused by teeth grinding include:
- Simple, non-invasive treatment of the condition
- The custom mouthguard fits comfortably so sleep is not interrupted
- Treatment is straightforward and requires little additional care by patients
- Cleaning the custom mouthguard is simple
Mouthguards Combined with Other Treatment Options
A mouthguard alone may not be enough to treat your TMJ disorder. That’s why other treatments may be considered along with a custom mouthguard for TMJ/teeth grinding. This additional treatment might include orthodontic care and stress management techniques for the teeth grinding, and pain relievers for the jaw joint discomfort.
The Results of Mouthguard Use
Many patients who get custom mouthguards for their TMJ disorder are pleased with the results of treatment. The mouthguard helps alleviate the symptoms associated with teeth grinding, gradually relieving stress on the TMJ and helping the jaw joint function properly.
More Advanced Treatments for TMJ Disorders
If your jaw joint issue is severe and cannot be properly addressed with a custom mouthguard, we can discuss more advanced procedures to restore movement and function to your jaw joint. This could include anything from corticosteroid injections to surgery on the jaw joint.
Learn More About Treating TMJ Disorders
If you live in Edmonton and would like to learn more about treating TMJ disorders and jaw pain, be sure to contact a skilled cosmetic and restorative dentist. Dr. Podilsky and his team can be reached by phone at (780) 900-6443.