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Times When an Oral Splint Is the Best Treatment Option
Posted on 9/7/2020 by Dr. Chad Rebhun
If you have a temporomandibular disorder (TMD) or a problem with jaw alignment, a splint is often used to correct the condition. A splint will not permanently change the teeth or jaw alignment, but it can be effectively used to treat TMD symptoms and manage the resulting pain.
What Is TMD and How Can a Splint Help?
Temporomandibular disorder or TMD is a joint disorder that causes joint discomfort and pain when a patient talks, swallows, chews, or yawns. Stress-induced tension, resulting from clenching or grinding the teeth (bruxism), is often the reason for the problem. A dental splint relieves the tension in the jaw muscles that makes it hard for patients to focus, at times, or to perform daily activities. Also called an occlusal splint, the dental appliance may be designed as a mouth guard (usually used when a patient sleeps) or a bite plate. The custom-made oral aid is designed using a clear plastic. You can fit the splint in your mouth as you would a retainer.
When a Splint is the Best Option
If a patient suffers from bruxism, it may be hard to consider surgery, especially if the reason for the problem is due to stress and tension. Therefore, the use of a splint is the best way to treat this kind of problem. The splint, in this case, is worn at night when the patient is usually grinding or clenching their teeth. By wearing a splint, a patient can relax their jaw, placing less stress and pressure on the teeth. We may recommend a patient wear a splint for three months or more to ensure a successful outcome. A splint may also be used to keep a dislodged or luxated tooth from moving around if a person experiences a facial injury. In this case, a splint is the best treatment option for stabilizing this type of injury.
Are you experiencing problems with TMD because you clench and grind your teeth? If so, you may need to wear a splint. Along with practicing stress management, wearing a splint can prove to be a practical treatment option. Give us a call today if you would like to know more about splint therapy for TMD or you wish to treat a tooth that needs to be stabilized.
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