A TMJ splint is an oral device that is designed and manufactured to control the jaws. It is typically recommended to alleviate pain and discomfort in and near the TMJ (temporomandibular joint) and to protect the teeth from sustaining any further damage due to TMJ problems. The temporomandibular joint is the hinge-like structure that connects the jaw to the skull bone. This joint is primarily responsible for the movements of the jawbone that allow us to chew, speak and yawn with ease.
What is TMD?
The temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD or TMJ) is the disorder of the jaw joints. Any problems related to the health of your face, neck or jawbone may occur due to the dysfunction of these joints.
What causes TMD?
TMD is caused by problems with the joints of the jawbone. These problems may occur in teh joints themselves or in the muscles near the joints. Common causes of TMD disorders include:
- Injury to the nearby muscles, the jawbone or the joint itself
- Excessive grinding or clenching of teeth
- Inflammation of the TMJ
- Improperly aligned jawbones
What are TMJ splints and how do they function?
A TMJ splint is a custom oral appliance designed to alleviate jaw pain and improve your jaw funciton. Depending on your needs, it may be worn only while asleep or at all times, including while eating. TMJ splints work by providing support to the lower jawbone to ensure its smooth function and stability. They help relax the muscles around the joint, reducing pain and stress in that area.
Although you may encounter slight discomfort during the initial few days of wearing the splints, with time you will be able to eat and speak with the appliance with ease and comfort. As you wear TMJ splints, your improperly aligned teeth will be shifted back into its place. This will also guide your muscles and jaws into alignment.
How can I take care of my splints?
Your TMJ splints can be cared for with regular brushing and flossing. We also recommend that you clean them regulalry by soaking them in a cleansing solution. Our caring female dentist will advise you on the best means to take care of their splints and preserve them from damage or injury.
Request an appointment with Dr. Sung Lydon to learn more about TMJ splints in Irvine, California, by calling Lydon Dentistry at 949-660-1321.