TMJ (Splint Therapy)

Patients who have had long standing malocclusions or who have suffered trauma to their lower jaw, can have pain in their “jaw-joints” or temporomandibular joints (TMJ). There are times when patients can not open their months completely, have a deviation to one side with opening and have serve pain that mimics an ear ache. They frequently have chronic headaches due to clenching and grinding. These patients frequently need to be treated with “splint therapy”. An acrylic appliance is inserted between the upper and lower teeth to reposition the lower jaw or create space to allow the disc between the upper and lower jaw joint to move back to its intended position. The appliance, which is worn to sleep, also helps to alleviate the muscle pain from clenching and grinding. Once normal function is achieved and the pain is alleviated, orthodontic stabilization is frequently prescribed to address the existing malocclusion.