What Is the Best TMJ Splint?

October 3, 2022 - Digital Resource Blogger

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) affects your temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and the muscles that help you chew food. It is a collection of diseases that may cause severe pain and discomfort. If you have this condition and don’t get TMJ treatment in Santa Clara, it will eventually compromise your dental health.

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Basic Info About TMJ Splints  

What Are the Types of TMJ Splints?

Generally, there are two basic types of splints. These two can be either hard or soft and cover all teeth or just a few of them. The two main types are:  

  • Repositioning Splints – These are, as the name suggests, splints intended to move your jaws. Usually, these splints are worn 24 hours a day.  
  • Stabilization Splints – Wearing this type of splint will stop you from clenching and grinding your teeth. These splints normally only need to be worn at night and most of them cover all of the teeth.  

The best type of TMJ splint will depend on the condition of the teeth and jaw. For instance, a repositioning splint may alter the patient’s bite. However, their bite will revert to its unbalanced position if the splint is not worn. 

Splints help control issues like tooth grinding and biting occlusions, but it’s crucial to remember that they aren’t always a long-term solution. To prevent patients from reverting to undesirable behaviors, dentists may advise Phase II therapies, such as orthodontics, specialized dental work, or surgery.    

How Long Should a TMJ Splint Be Worn? 

Most TMJ splints should be worn at night, especially if you have a history of bruxism, a condition that makes your teeth grind and your jaw clench. If you experience more discomfort or TMD symptoms when you wake up in the morning, you may benefit from wearing a nightguard. Splints are worn during the day to prevent flare-ups, typically during high mental or emotional periods, such as during your daily commute or just before or after a crucial meeting.  

Since TMJ splints are a preventative device, you should wear yours daily. Other people frequently wear theirs for a few weeks before stopping when their symptoms subside. However, if you occasionally get flare-ups, it’s preferable to wear them frequently.  

It’s worth noting that if you clench your teeth excessively while wearing a splint, the acrylic layer will begin to show substantial deterioration. Depending on your conditions, you might need to have a new splint created every few years.  

Do TMJ Splints Work?

Splints function by gently shifting your teeth into a more open position. Your lips should be in contact while resting, but not your teeth. A splint works as a buffer, pushing your TMJ into a natural resting position. The joint is “forced” to relax because it isn’t thoroughly engaging. For this reason, a splint reduces the tension in your biting muscles and the muscles around your face, neck, and shoulders. 

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Schedule a TMJ Treatment in Santa Clara to Get Your Splints!

 A TMJ appliance or professional mouth splint can only be made by a dental specialist. The “one size fits all” design of splints is nearly useless and can exacerbate your TMD symptoms. We’d like to hear from you; send us a message!