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Bellevue's Best Smiles

Mouthguards for TMJ

Your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) is the little hinge on your jaw that attaches it to the rest of your head. While this joint is quite small in size, when it acts up, it can cause big pain. TMJ disorder can cause significant agony in those who are suffering from it, leading to popping and clicking in the jaw, tenderness, and pain, an ongoing headache or pain that shoots from the jaw, problems eating, and locking in the jaw that prevents you from being able to close or open your mouth.

The exact causes of TMJ disorder are still being researched, but one thing is for certain – when you are in pain from complications with this joint, you want relief fast! That is why we here at Bellevue's Best Smiles like to carefully assess our patients who are complaining of pain in their TMJ and, if they are good candidates for it, recommend a nighttime mouthguard to help them to feel better.

How Can a Mouthguard Help My TMJ?

When you are suffering from pain due to TMJ dysfunction, it is tempting to want to run out to the nearest big box store and pick up a generic stock night guard. This could be a dangerous mistake. Stock night guards can make the problem worse, as they are not custom fitted to your mouth. This can lead to problems with your bite and your dental alignment. If you are struggling with TMJ disorder, we will fit you with a custom night guard to help with it.

A custom fitted nighttime mouthguard will help prevent the pain and pressure of your clenching and grinding your teeth together. It can help relax the tight and strained muscles in your jaw and help hold your mouth in the correct position to help relieve the discomfort. For many patients, this can be a lasting solution to their TMJ dysfunction.

There are two main types of mouthguards that we fit our patients with to help with problems with their TMJ. One type is called a stabilization splint. This can help relieve the pressure from clenching and grinding your teeth at night, a condition that is known as bruxism. It is a good choice for patients who have muscle pain from their TMJ disorder.

Some of our patients will benefit instead from a different type of mouthguard, one that is called a repositioning splint. This is better for patients who have problems with misalignment that leads to the pain, popping, clicking, and locking jaw. A repositioning splint will help with a jaw that is sitting too far forward or back in the mouth. It may be worn for all hours of the day when we initially fit you with it, but as your problems with TMJ pain subside, we can work out a wearing schedule with you.

Call Us Today

Patients who struggle with TMJ disorder may start to feel upset and hopeless. When other types of treatment have not been as successful, many people have found relief from their pain and discomfort from their TMJ with a mouthguard. To learn more about the many benefits of using a mouthguard for TMJ dysfunction, or to set up an appointment with us to determine if you may be a good candidate for one, please give us here at Bellevue's Best Smiles a call today at (425) 688-1345!

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