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Splint Therapy for TMJ Pain: How Does It Work?

April 7, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — sleepsnoringtmj @ 3:25 am
Smiling woman holding splint for TMJ pain

The pain of TMJ disorder (TMD) can interfere with your ability to chew your favorite foods, engage in effortless conversation, and enjoy the best possible quality of life. When dealing with this issue, some people rely on pain relievers, but those only mask symptoms. Wouldn’t it be better to find a longer-term solution? You might be a candidate for splint therapy, an effective and non-pharmaceutical way to address TMJ pain. How does splint therapy work? This blog post explains.

What Causes TMJ Pain?

To understand how splint therapy works for TMJ pain, you should know why the pain is occurring. Some people are in pain because their lower jaw rests in the wrong position, which puts pressure on their jaw joints (TMJs) and the surrounding muscles. This leads to persistent facial aches, general jaw soreness, and other issues.

TMJ pain can also be the result of bruxism, which is also known as teeth grinding and clenching. If you engage in bruxism while you are asleep, you may often wake up with a sore jaw, sore teeth, and other painful TMD symptoms.

Splint Therapy Address Bruxism and Jaw Positioning

Instead of simply masking your symptoms, splint therapy is able to address some of the most common causes of TMJ pain, including bruxism and improper jaw positioning.

There are different types of TMJ splints, but they are all custom-made for each patient’s unique mouth. Some splints are designed to be worn during sleep; they place a barrier between the upper and lower teeth and help the jaw to rest in its proper position. Other splints are meant to be worn around the clock; they help train the lower jaw to stay in the correct place.

Over the course of several weeks or months, splints have the potential to reverse the cause of TMJ pain and provide long-term improvements in jaw function. In fact, some patients find that they are permanently pain-free after they complete splint therapy!

Optimizing TMJ Pain Relief

Because splint therapy can take a bit of time to produce results, it is often used in conjunction with other pain relief methods. For example, your dentist might recommend that you adjust your diet, use heat/cold therapy, perform facial massages, or take other steps to relieve soreness and inflammation in your TMJs and the surrounding muscles. Although these measures are not meant to provide long-term results, they can make you more comfortable while you wait for your splint to do its job.

If you are eager to learn more about TMJ splint therapy, get in touch with a qualified dentist. They will be happy to help you start your treatment journey!

Meet the Practice

Dr. Mitch Conditt is an experienced dentist who has completed extensive training in the treatment of TMJ disorders. He has helped countless patients to find freedom from TMJ pain via splint therapy. If you are interested in finding out whether splint therapy is right for you, contact Fort Worth Snoring & Sleep Center at 817-527-8500 to request a consultation.

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