Can a Dental Night Guard Help Your TMJ?

If you are experiencing chronic pain in your jaw, your dentist may prescribe a dental night guard to treat your condition. While TMJ disorder can be treated in a variety of ways, the most common and effective treatment is a dental night guard.

What is TMJ Disorder?

TMD stands for temporomandibular disorder, which is related to TMJ. TMJ stands for temporomandibular joint. The TMJ is a hinge that connects your jaw to the temporal bones of your skull, which are in front of each ear. It lets you move your jaw up and down and side to side, so you can talk, chew, and yawn.

Causes of TMJ Disorder

The specific cause of TMJ disorder can vary from patient to patient. However, there are usually a few factors that can lead to TMJ disorder over time:

    • Bruxism/Teeth GrindingBruxism is a condition in which you grind, gnash, or clench your teeth. It can sometimes occur during the day, but sleep bruxism is also common. This condition can put a lot of pressure on the joint.
    • Soft Cushion and Disc Movement – If the ball and socket in the joint wear down, it can cause pain in the jaw over time.
    • ArthritisArthritis can cause stiffness and pain in the joint.
    • Stress – Stress can cause you to tense your face muscles or clench your teeth, which puts pressure on the joint.

Using a Dental Night Guard for TMJ Treatment

A dental night guard used to treat TMJ disorder is usually a hard, acrylic appliance that will realign your jaw while you sleep, taking the tension off of the joint. It is important that you order a custom-fitted night guard through your dentist, as a regular mouth guard will not keep your jaw in place as you sleep.

acrylic dental night guard

Dental night guards are custom-fitted. Custom-fitted night guards are the best option because they will help to treat your TMJ disorder without affecting your breathing while you sleep. Acrylic night guards are usually thin and are molded to either the top or bottom row of teeth. When your dentist fits your teeth for a night guard, it will usually take several tries. Your dentist will assess where your mouth is biting down too much or in the wrong place. The acrylic night guard will align your jaw correctly, and relieve pain while you sleep.

Dental Night Guards from Park Ave Dental

If you have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, it is recommended that you see a dentist for a custom-fitted night guard. Park Ave Dental has experience with treating TMJ disorder, and we will help determine if a dental night guard is the best solution for your situation. If you are in the Gainesville, Florida, area and suffer from jaw pain, call us today for more info about Gingivitis treatment, TMJ Treatment, Dental Implants and tooth replacement. We would be happy to set up an appointment to discuss your options.