Occlusal guards, also known as splints, are commonly used to manage and treat TMJ disorder (TMD). These guards are custom-made to reduce the amount of force on the jaw joint during clenching or grinding of teeth, which can be a common cause of TMD symptoms.
Occlusal guards work by stabilizing the jaw in a neutral position, reducing the strain on the joint and surrounding muscles. This can alleviate symptoms such as pain, clicking or popping sounds when opening the jaw and headaches. Occlusal guards are typically made of acrylic and are typically worn during the night but can also be worn during the day.
Occlusal guards are not a cure for TMD but rather a way to manage the symptoms. It is important to note that occlusal guards should only be used under the supervision of a dentist or TMJ/TMD specialist, as ill-fitting guards can actually worsen symptoms.
Overall, occlusal guards are a safe and effective option for managing TMD symptoms. If you are experiencing TMD symptoms, we invite you to contact Gentle Smiles of Raleigh at 919-872-1700 to schedule your consultation with Dr. Mihir Bava. Our dentist will know the best course of treatment for your individual needs and whether occlusal guards in Raleigh, North Carolina, are the right option for you.