The temporomandibular joint, often referred to as the TMJ, is the joint that allows the jaw to open and close freely. Unfortunately, the TMJ can be a source of problems for many patients. Patients who suffer from TMJ disorder often have difficulty opening or closing the mouth. Other common symptoms of TMJ disorder include frequent headaches, neck and shoulder pain, dizziness, and ringing in the ears. At the cosmetic dentistry practice of Dr. N. Perry Orchard and Dr. Charles A. Robertson, we offer treatment for TMJ disorder that not only alleviates the symptoms of TMJ disorder but also addresses the source of the condition. For many of our patients in Corpus Christi, TMJ disorder mouth guards can be effective in treating this painful condition.
How Do Mouth Guards Help TMJ Disorder?
Dr. Orchard and Dr. Robertson have a holistic approach to TMJ treatment. While pain medication or muscle relaxers may be helpful in alleviating some of the symptoms of TMJ disorder, they will not treat the condition at the source. We believe that treating the source of TMJ disorder is the only long-lasting and effective approach to TMJ treatment. While every patient is different, there are common sources that contribute to TMJ disorder. These include,
- Clenching the teeth
- Teeth grinding
- A misaligned bite
With any of the above conditions, a mouth guard can be useful. When worn at night while the patient sleeps, a dental mouth guard prevents clenching and teeth grinding. The mouth guard also serves to hold the teeth and jaw bone in place so that they remain properly aligned. With routine use of a dental mouth guard, many patients find that the jaw begins to feel more loose and relaxed and the symptoms of TMJ disorder are no longer a problem.
Benefits of a Custom Mouth Guard
If we examine the teeth and determine that a mouth guard will be useful in the treatment of TMJ disorder, a custom-made mouth guard will be provided. This mouth guard is fabricated using a mold of the patient’s teeth. This ensures that the mouth guard fits closely to the teeth and remains comfortable, allowing each patient to sleep without discomfort. Aside from the superior fit and comfort provided by a custom mouth guard, the benefits of using a mouth guard in TMJ treatment include the following:
- Relief of TMJ symptoms: With continual use of a mouth guard, the TMJ will become more relaxed and patients should find relief from jaw pain, headaches, and the many other symptoms of TMJ disorder.
- Protection of the teeth: Many patients who suffer from TMJ disorder end up with damaged teeth as a result of clenching and grinding. Wearing the custom mouth guard can reduce the effects of clenching and grinding and may prevent the teeth from becoming damaged.
- Avoidance of more invasive treatment: The use of a night mouth guard can effectively treat the source and symptoms of TMJ disorder for many people. The results are often significant enough that the condition is treated without the need for any further or more invasive treatment.
Schedule an Appointment
No one should have to live with the constant pain of TMJ disorder. If you believe that you are suffering from this condition, schedule an appointment with one of our dentists at your earliest convenience. Dr. N. Perry Orchard and Dr. Charles A. Roberson can provide TMJ treatment that restores your health and comfort. We look forward to working with you!