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Do you suffer from aches and pains in your head, jaw, or teeth and don’t know why? Sometimes these pains can be caused by strain in the temporomandibular joints (TMJ), which are the jaw joints that connect your lower and upper jaw.
Why Is Your TMJ Strained?
It may be because your teeth are grinding together while you sleep or while you are concentrating on other activities. This grinding, known as bruxism, can also cause loose teeth, tooth damage, and gum recession, as well as jaw joint pain.
If you are experiencing these problems, contact your local dentist office, Discovery Dental, in the Issaquah area. TMJ dentist Dr. Vanama would like to find the cause of your pains and help relieve it as soon as possible through dental services, avoiding permanent damage to your teeth.
Why Do You Need a TMJ Splint?
When a patient has sleep apnea, the lower jaw, and tongue slide back due to gravity, which can obstruct the airway in some patients. Your body’s defense mechanism, which senses the drop in oxygen, wakes you up to move your jaw forward. This is your body responding to stress and violently moving your lower jaw to a better position to remove the obstruction to your airway.
When this happens multiple times at night, it constantly affects the joints and causes a lot of damage to your teeth.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
If your teeth are grinding together, it can be caused by:
- An airway obstruction that causes your breath to stop during the night (obstructive sleep apnea) which requires a sleep apnea test to diagnose.
- A misaligned bite, causing your teeth to come together in a way that wears them down.
- Anxiety is brought on by a major life event or chronic stress.
Teeth grinding can eventually wear down the surface material of your teeth, crack a tooth, or damage facial muscles and jaw joints. That last problem can lead to muscle tension that causes pain, such as headaches, which your holistic dentist can help treat.
Types of Dental Splints
These can be usually purchased over the counter. They are readily available and seem convenient but are generally bulky and hard to wear and as they are not custom-fitted for each patient.
These splints feel comfortable, but they wear out faster
Custom Flat Plane Splint / TMJ Night Guard.
A TMJ night guard is designed for teeth grinders and clenchers.
To fabricate a splint, we scan the patient’s teeth with our 3D digital scanner to help us fabricate a custom appliance for each patient
A splint is worn over your teeth and help provide relief by
- Prevent the teeth from touching each other.
- Absorb the force of any unconscious nighttime biting or grinding, stopping the tooth material from being damaged.
- Improve the motion of your bite, making your teeth meet in a new way.
- Move your jaw into a new position to support your muscles and joints, thereby helping them heal.
Mandibular Advancement Device for Sleep Apnea and Snoring.
A mandibular advancement device can be used for patients who suffer from sleep apnea. This device helps hold the lower jaw in a forward position, thereby helping to keep the airway open during sleep.
There are many options to help keep your airway open while you sleep at night. Schedule a consultation with our sleep specialist at Discovery Dental to see which one will work for you!
Benefits Of TMJ Treatments
TMD and TMJ disorders may be mild or severe, depending on your situation. TMJ treatments can improve your well-being by:
- Relieving Your Headaches.
- Stopping TMJ Pain.
- Eliminating Teeth Grinding.
- Preventing Damage to Your Teeth.
- Improving Your Breathing.
The sooner you receive TMJ therapy and treatment, the better. Constant pain and problems can complicate your health. We can show you the best treatment for your TMJ disorder and help you feel great!
Stop Teeth Grinding and Joint Pain With Dental Splints
If you suffer from unexplained tooth pain, headaches, tooth damage, and other issues, you need a consultation at family dental practice Discovery Dental as soon as possible. A dental splint may start the healing process and relieve your pain, improving your overall quality of life without dental surgery.
Call Discovery Dental, our dental office in Issaquah, for a FREE consultation and complete health dental care.