If you have TMD (temporomandibular joint disorder), you might be wondering whether or not it can be cured. Your TMD symptoms can be remedied with our TMJ splints. TMJ splint therapy can be an essential component of the TMJ treatment process. Splints can help treat temporomandibular issues, protect the teeth from damage, and stabilize the bite.
Let us help you treat your TMJ with a splint and get you feeling good again! Call us today to schedule an appointment!
What Happens When I Get a TMJ Splint?
If Dr. Pickens determines that a TMJ splint is the right course of treatment for you, we will make a custom mouth splint that is perfectly fitted to your mouth. Our custom impression process ensures that you will get a secure and comfortable dental splint to help eliminate the symptoms of TMD.
Most TMJ splints are worn daily or as recommended by a dentist. They provide more vertical for your jaw support and even move the lower jaw, guiding it to a more natural position. You will probably wear a splint for a few weeks to several months.
5 Types of TMJ Splints
Splints can come in a variety of different types because they can help with different symptoms and needs of TMJ disorder. There are 5 different types of TMJ splints that we use in our office:
- Stabilization or flat plane splint: This splint is designed to cover all the upper teeth. It has a flat to help reduce tooth grinding and relax sore jaw muscles. This splint does not prevent tooth clenching, but it does stabilize the TMJ.
- Anterior Bite Plane: This type of splint fits the upper jaw and makes contact only with the six lower front teeth. This splint keeps the back teeth from touching and prevents grinding and clenching. Generally, this splint is worn at night.
- NTI-tss Appliance: The NTI appliance fits the upper front teeth and is designed to prevent tooth clenching and grinding, which can relieve TMD symptoms if bruxism is the cause of your jaw pain.
- Repositioning Splint: This splint is used to help the lower jaw move forward or backward to help relocate the jaw position. The repositioning splint is not usually used for more than 6 months because it can cause permanent changes to the bite which can be extremely harmful.
- Over-the-counter splints: You can buy a splint in stores without a dental appointment. These splints are made of a type of plastic that softens when warmed and you can mold them to fit over your teeth. Sometimes it is hard to get an exact fit and they can cause permanent changes to the bite by moving the teeth, so getting a splint from a dentist is better.
Get your TMD splint with Pickens Family Dentistry. Schedule an appointment now, and we can evaluate your TMD condition and get you started on treatment.
Over-the-Counter Bite Guards
There are pros and cons to purchasing and using an over-the-counter night guard to help treat your TMJ disorder. In general, mouth guards are great at helping with grinding and clenching, especially when you sleep at night.
The convenience of over-the-counter guards is very appealing when you don’t have to make an appointment and spend time in the dental office. These types of guards are also usually more affordable than custom-made guards.
However, choosing an over-the-counter guard can have some negative aspects as well. These guards are not custom fitted to your teeth, which means they might not stay securely in place during sleep and can cause discomfort or pain. Over-the-counter guards are made with a lower quality material which can make them more prone to breaking or wearing out more quickly.
Custom Flat Plane Splint/ TMJ Night Guard
At Pickens Family Dentistry, we provide custom flat plane splints and TMJ night guards to help ease the pain and treat TMJ disorders. The flat plane splint covers all the upper teeth and has a flat bottom which allows the bottom teeth to slide back and forth. It is intended to help reduce tooth grinding and relax sore muscles.
A TMJ night guard can also be custom fitted to be worn at night and help patients who have chronic clenching or grinding of the teeth during sleep. Grinding can cause tooth wear, fractures and many other issues. Night guards are mainly used to protect the teeth, joints and muscles during sleep.
Removable Neuromuscular Orthotic
A removable neuromuscular orthotic is a clear, perfectly fitted device that sits on your lower teeth. This orthotic is worn to help correct alignment of your jaw and muscles. The orthotic helps to make gradual adjustments to the mouth and avoids overloading the muscles too quickly.
The orthotic is worn 24/7 and is even worn when eating. It is constantly working to improve your jaw alignment and muscle strength. The removable orthotic is nearly invisible for others to see, which makes it easier to wear in public settings.
Mandibular Advancement Device for Sleep Apnea and Snoring
A mandibular Advancement Device (MAD) is an alternative treatment method that a patient can try to help with sleep apnea and snoring. A MAD works by temporarily moving the jaw and tongue forward, which reduces throat constriction during sleep.
By moving the tongue forward, it increases airway space. Most MADs are custom-fitted to fit a specific person’s mouth. MADs are more portable and easier to use than a CPAP machine and are often preferred by some patients to help treat sleep apnea.
Benefits of TMJ Treatments
Don’t put off treating your TMJ pain and discomfort. Jaw disorders can have a far-reaching negative impact on your health and well-being. By treating TMJ disorder you can experience a variety of benefits:
- Fewer headaches and migraines, especially in the morning
- Reduced amount of pain medication you need to take daily
- Protected teeth from grinding and clenching
- Better Sleep and a better mood
- Eating without pain
To Stop TMJ Pain and Start Living, Contact our Office Today!
Here at Pickens Family Dentistry, we want you to be able to live pain-free each day! Call us today so we can help stop your TMJ pain and get you the treatment you need!