If your symptoms are believed to be a result of teeth grinding or clenching, which is a common cause of TMJ syndrome, a nighttime bite guard could be a great at-home treatment that provides immediate relief. Keep in mind, a night guard does not cure TMJ Syndrome, it helps to alleviate the symptoms.
Can a night guard make TMJ worse?
While most night guards can prevent enamel wear by avoiding direct teeth contact, it does not prevent grinding and clenching. In some cases, night guards actually increase the activity of the muscles that clench and this makes TMJ pain worse.
Should you wear a night guard with TMJ?
Your dentist may recommend a night guard to help you with morning headaches, for TMJ jaw pain relief, and to prevent damage to your teeth, jaw, crowns, and other dental restorations.
How long does it take for a mouth guard to work for TMJ?
Bite Splint Transitions to Full-Time Relief
Studies that last six weeks tend to show marked improvement, but not full relief of symptoms. By three months, all jaw problems, facial pain, and other symptoms in the head and face area tend to resolve.
Can night guards ruin your teeth?
Often, deep grooves will eventually form in the night guard from the force of the grinding. The night guard prevents this same force from causing damage to the teeth. Without a night guard, enamel can be worn down excessively, leading to tooth sensitivity.
How should I sleep if I have TMJ?
Laying on your side with a hand under your pillow can also exacerbate the symptoms of TMD. This damaging sleep position creates a misalignment for your head and neck, making TMJ pain very likely. The best sleep position for TMD is sleeping on your back in order to keep your head and neck properly aligned.
What happens if TMJ is left untreated?
Although not life threatening, if TMJ disorder is left untreated, it can contribute to significant discomfort and tension. Chronic pain can even lead to the development of diseases like anxiety and depression.
How do I relax my jaw before bed?
Massaging your jaw may help increase blood flow and reduce muscle tightness. You can try this by opening your mouth and gently rubbing the muscles next to your ears in a circular motion. This is the area where the temporomandibular joints are located. Try this several times a day, including right before bed.
Should you wear night guard on upper or lower teeth?
Upper guards are typically recommended because they don’t remove easily compared to lower teeth nightguard. Dentists favor lower guards because they are often more comfortable and easier to get used to. The ideal night guard should protect all your teeth while not affecting your natural bite.