Are you continuously experiencing pain in your neck and jaw area? Do you hear a frequent clicking or popping noise when opening or closing your mouth? Have you noticed a limited range of motion in your jaw? These are signs that you might be having a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Options like using an NTI device or a mouth guard are available. You can check the MobileMouthguards e-shop. They are offering mobile services to serve you conveniently wherever you might be.
What is a temporomandibular joint (TMJ)?
This structure functions as a sliding hinge that connects your lower jaw to the skull. You can find the joint on both sides of your head, right in front of your ears. This joint enables you to open and close your mouth as well as to eat and speak.
Previously, TMJ is an abbreviation that they use to refer to a group of health problems that are related to the jaw. However, later on, it is now referred to as TMD or TMJD (D stands for the disorder) to represent the TMJ disorders exactly. These disorders might result in joint tenderness, facial pain, and the joint’s movement difficulty.
What causes TMJ disorder?
In some instances, the causes of TMJ disorder is left unknown. However, there are health conditions found to contribute to the development of TMJD.
- A person with arthritis can also develop TMJD.
- Additionally, there is an erosion happening in the joint.
- You have a habit of teeth grinding or clenching.
- From your birth, you already have structural jaw problems.
Other factors associated with TMJD, but not yet proven as a cause.
- Usage of orthodontic braces.
- Maintaining poor posture which may affect the muscles of the neck and face.
- Having prolonged stress.
- Observing a poor diet.
- Having a lack of sleep.
How can a mouth guard address TMJ disorders?
There are specific mouth guards that can help assist the jaw back to its correct position. Initially, let us discuss the roles a mouth guard plays to address TMJD.
- It will prevent your habit of teeth grinding or clenching.
- It helps you correct your improper bite by holding the jaw in its correct position.
- Your jaw and facial muscles will be relaxed. In this case, you can reduce muscle spasms and pain.
- Using a mouth guard will prevent your jaw from locking.
- It will lessen the pain you feel coming from a worn disc or arthritic condition.
Types of mouth guards
Choosing the mouth guard you will use have to depend on your condition. There is a specific mouth guard provided for a specific condition. Visit Glebe Dental’s clinic today to ask for a consultation on night guards.
- Stabilization splints: This type of mouth guard will cover all of your teeth. It will help prevent teeth grinding or clenching, which can happen when you are awake or while asleep. They also call this grinding or clenching as bruxism. Your needs will determine what material is needed for your mouth guard. It can either be soft material or hard. Either of the two should reduce the pain by limiting the overuse or extension of the jaw muscles.
- Repositioning splints: This type will be helping to reposition the lower jaw. Using this mouth guard will pull the lower jaw in forwarding motion. Usually, patients have to wear this for 24 hours initially. Your dentist will make a plan for your long-term use of this device once the pain subsides.
Primary considerations when choosing a mouth guard
It is normal to have hesitations when purchasing something that you will use. A mouth guard is not an exemption to keep up with this attitude. Bondi Beach Dental team lists some of the things you can consider when choosing a mouth guard since it is for your personal use.
- The mouth guard would be better if easy to mold or remold.
- It is comfortable to wear; especially you have to wear it all night. Your mouth guards should not hinder your speech, drinking or breathing as well.
- It would be best to have a hygienic mouth guard. A simple mouth guard care routines will help you instead of time-consuming practices.
Other options to treat a temporomandibular joint disorder
To help you ease the symptoms of TMJD, you can do the following practices at home.
- You have to eat soft foods only.
- An ice pack will help you with the reduction of swelling.
- There is a necessity to limit the movement of your jaws.
- It would be best for you to avoid chewing gum and other foods that would be rough for your jaws.
- Make ways to reduce the level of your stress. Take time to relax and keep things on balance.
- Practice doing jaw-stretching exercises that can improve the movement of the jaw.
A kind reminder!
If you constantly feel discomfort and pain in your jaw muscles or neck area, it would be best to have a consultation with your healthcare provider for a proper diagnosis and best treatment option.