When the temporomandibular joint does not work in harmony, a potentially painful condition called TMJ disorder can arise. While the late stages of the degenerative condition can require surgery, the early stages of TMJ disorder are highly treatable.
During your examination at our Staten Island, NY, dental practice, Drs. Alex or Jason Hecht will consider your symptoms before recommending a suitable treatment that may include using a mouth guard. The oral appliance holds the lower jaw comfortably in place at night and reduces nighttime teeth grinding. You can trust your dentist to prescribe the most effective and least invasive treatment options, such as mouth guards, for TMJ disorder.
Do I Need a Mouth Guard for TMJ Pain?
Before you can be prescribed a mouth guard (sometimes called a night guard), your symptoms will need to be diagnosed. TMJ disorder symptoms can manifest in many ways. The TMJs are a complex network of bone, connective tissue, and muscles. While symptoms like a clicking jaw or difficulty fully extending the jaw are common, most patients seek a mouth guard to relieve jaw pain.
When the jaws do not move in proper alignment, the sides of the skull can become tender or the source of pain. For patients who have been diagnosed with TMJ disorder, one frequent source of jaw pain is bruxism.
How Are Bruxism and Jaw Pain Related?
The link between TMJ disorder and teeth grinding is complicated. For some patients, bruxism may be the cause of TMJ pain. For others, bruxism may simply be an aggravating factor that worsens TMJ-related symptoms. During your consultation and exam at our Staten Island dental practice, one of our doctors will look signs of worn teeth. If you do suffer from nighttime teeth grinding, a mouth guard can also treat that condition.
Find Relief from TMJ Pain
Whatever the cause of your TMJ pain, many of our Staten Island patients find relief through the use of a mouth guard. The oral appliance is safe, affordable, and easy to use. After measurements are taken, your custom mouth guard will be fabricated at a trusted dental lab. When the appliance arrives, one of our doctors will ensure that it is a comfortable fit.
The mouthguard should be worn every night. The custom appliance holds your lower jaw in an ideal and relaxed position throughout the night. This relieves jaw muscle tension so you wake up feeling refreshed. If you do grind your teeth at night, the mouth guard will also address that potential cause of TMJ pain.
How Effective Are Mouth Guards for Treating TMJ Pain?
Many of our Staten Island patients find significant and long-lasting relief from TMJ pain through the use of a mouth guard. The oral appliance is not the only potential treatment for TMJ pain. During your consultation and exam, one of our doctors will look for a potentially ill-fitting prosthetic or misaligned teeth as possible causes of jaw pain. To treat malocclusion, our office offers Invisalign® aligner trays.
No matter what your source of discomfort is, you can trust our doctors to rely on years of experience and sound dental technology to diagnose and treat your TMJ pain.
Learn How a Mouth Guard Can Relieve TMJ Pain
If you experience jaw pain, there is likely a dental cause. Once your teeth and jaw have been thoroughly examined, you can be fitted with a comfortable and affordable mouth guard that will begin relieving TMJ pain. To schedule your TMJ disorder consultation, please contact our office online or call (718) 705-4434.