Aching pain in your jaw, ears, or face. Clicking, locking, or popping sensations when you chew and talk. Sound familiar? You could have a temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder.
TMJ disorders are one of the most common causes of face and jaw pain. These disorders are often triggered by conditions like arthritis and bruxism — but the good news is that TMJ pain is treatable.
At Touni Orthodontics in Sunnyvale, California, Walied Touni, DDS, MSD, and our team specialize in diagnosing TMJ pain, and we offer a range of effective treatments. Of all your options, one of the most common is a customized mouth guard.
Here’s everything you need to know about how this simple appliance can treat your TMJ pain.
How a mouth guard can treat TMJ pain
A mouth guard is an oral appliance that covers the biting surface of your teeth. Mouth guards go by a lot of names — such as oral splints, bite splints, and night guards — but they all refer to the same thing.
Dr. Touni may recommend a mouth guard if your TMJ pain is linked to teeth grinding or clenching. The medical term for teeth grinding and clenching is bruxism, and it affects up to a third of American adults.
People with bruxism grind or clench their teeth subconsciously, and it's often worse when they’re asleep at night. Constant grinding and clenching can damage your teeth, and also lead to muscle fatigue and pain in your jaw.
A mouth guard covers your teeth and protects them from the excessive wear and strain that bruxism causes. Depending on the type of mouth guard you get, it may eliminate contact between your upper and lower teeth in the back to further reduce pressure.
Plus, a properly fitted mouth guard holds your jaw in its optimal position. That means it can also alleviate jaw tension, pain, and other symptoms even if you don’t have bruxism.
Getting your TMJ mouth guard
If you think you have a TMJ disorder, book an appointment at Touni Orthodontics. Dr. Touni and our team start with a full oral evaluation to diagnose your condition, and then we recommend a course of treatment.
A mouth guard can be a very effective treatment for your TMJ pain. We take impressions of your mouth in our office, and send the impressions to a dental lab. The lab creates your customized mouth guard, and you come back to our office for a fitting.
Dr. Touni ensures your mouth guard fits properly and feels comfortable inside your mouth. Depending on your needs, he may recommend wearing it only at night or anytime you aren’t eating.
After you start wearing your mouth guard, we schedule a follow-up appointment. Dr. Touni checks the fit of your mouth guard and asks about your symptoms to see how treatment is working for you. If needed, he can make minor adjustments to make it more effective.
A custom mouth guard could be the solution to your TMJ pain. Learn more about your treatment options with an appointment at Touni Orthodontics. Call our office or request an appointment online today.