The temporomandibular joint (TMJ) works like a sliding hinge, connecting the jawbone to the skull. When it is affected with a disorder and not functioning properly, it can cause pain, in both the joint itself as well as the surrounding muscles that control jaw movement. There are several causes for TMJ disorders, such as genetics, arthritis, or a jaw injury. Stress can also be a contributing factor. If left untreated, TMJ disorder can wear down the teeth or even damage them. Fortunately, there are also treatments available to address TMJ disorders. At DeAngelis Family Dentistry, we offer night guards to keep the teeth safe.
Night guards are worn to create a barrier between the top and bottom lines of teeth. This prevents direct contact when there is any teeth grinding at night and subsequently minimizes damage. Night guards can also affect the alignment of the jaw and reduce tightness in the jaw muscles, which should allow patients who suffer from TMJ disorder to wake up with less pain.
Though mouth guards can be bought in local pharmacies, the best type is one custom-made at the dentist office. These provide the best fit (they are more comfortable and make it easier to breathe compared to store-bought mouth guards) and therefore the best protection.
If you believe you might suffer from TMJ disorder, book an appointment with your dentist at DeAngelis Family Dentistry for a consultation.