If you wake up most mornings with a stiff jaw or throbbing headache, TMJ may be to blame. At Rene Horvilleur, DDS, in New York City’s Midtown East neighborhood, the team regularly prescribes night guards to people who grind and clench their teeth. To learn more about this state-of-the-art-treatment, call or use the online booking tool to make your appointment today.
What is TMJ?
Your temporomandibular joints (TMJ) act like sliding hinges and attach your jawbone to your skull. You have one temporomandibular joint on either side of your mouth and they move whenever you chew, speak, or yawn.
A TMJ disorder is a painful medical condition causing chronic jaw pain, persistent headaches, and inflammation of the muscles that control jaw movement.
What are the symptoms of TMJ?
The symptoms of TMJ vary in severity. However, common signs include:
- Jaw pain or tenderness
- Aching pain in or around your ears
- Difficulty or pain while chewing
- Aching facial pain
Many people with TMJ also experience clicking, popping, or snapping sensations when they open or close their mouth.
When should I see a dentist regarding TMJ?
Mild jaw pain typically subsides on its own with rest and conservative measures of care like ice packs and over-the-counter painkillers. However, if your symptoms persist for longer than 24-48 hours, or they’re interfering with your ability to eat or speak, make an appointment with the team right away.
What causes TMJ disorders?
Researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes TMJ disorders, but previous jaw injuries, teeth grinding, and rheumatic illnesses such as osteoarthritis and post-traumatic arthritis are thought to play a role.
What is a night guard?
A night guard or nocturnal bite plate is a custom oral appliance designed to create a barrier between your teeth. If you grind or clench your teeth during sleep, a night guard helps ease tension and acts as a cushion for your jaw.
Wearing a night guard helps to eliminate jaw and facial pain and also protects the outer layer of your teeth.
Who is a good candidate for a night guard?
The only way to determine if you’re a good candidate for a night guard is to schedule an appointment at Rene Horvilleur, DDS.
Following a thorough exam, review of your medical history, and discussion of your symptoms, your dentist can make recommendations that align with your needs. If necessary, the team may also order a series of 3D X-rays or oral scans to get a better view of your jaws and temporomandibular joints.
Teeth grinding is a common problem, but it doesn’t have to prevent you from getting a restful night’s sleep. Call or use the online booking tool to request your night guard consultation today.