Can Night Guards Help Ease TMJ Symptoms?
What is TMD?
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction, or TMD for short, is a disorder of the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) that causes a wide range of symptoms, from a sore jaw, to headaches, migraines, tooth pain and more. Although not fully understood what exactly causes TMD, there are many factors that may play a role, and one of these is bruxism.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is an involuntary grinding of the teeth. Involuntary means that it happens without thinking about and without the conscious decision to (such as breathing, or a beating heart). Bruxism typically takes place during sleep. While having other consequences such as damaging teeth, bruxism is thought to play a role in TMD.
A night guard is an appliance that is placed into your mouth as you sleep, covering either the top or bottom teeth, preventing contact between teeth while sleeping.
Most importantly, a night guard will reduce the strain that is put on the muscles of the jaw, by helping it to sit in a more natural position while sleeping. This relaxed jaw will result in a reduction of the painful symptoms associated with TMJ.
When choosing a night guard, you want to make sure that you get a professionally molded night guard from your dentist, and not an over the counter option. The properly molded night guard will fit your mouth perfectly, and align your jaw in the best position possible for your mouth. This will give you the best chance of reducing TMJ symptoms.
If you suffer from jaw pain or headaches as a result of TMJ, you do not need to continue. Talk to Riverside Heights Dental and consider getting a night guard to help ease your TMJ symptoms.