Since there are different ways to treat TMJ disorder, there are varying types of TMJ splints that can be used during splint therapy. These splints break down into a couple of categories depending on their purpose, including:
- Permissive: This type of splint stabilizes your mouth to keep your teeth in the correct position when your jaw is closed. Permissive splints allow the jaw and teeth to move freely, but deliver support that helps maintain a proper resting point. These splints are used most commonly among patients.
- Nonpermissive: This type of splint is more restrictive, with ramps or indentations that direct the movement of your jaw. The goal of nonpermissive splints is to reposition your teeth and jaw into a more comfortable position that will prevent further pain. These splints are typically required to be worn throughout the day to keep your jaw constantly aligned.
The description of TMJ splints may sound similar to a night guard, but there are some key differences between the two. Night guards are intended to keep people from clenching or grinding their teeth at night, which can cause a host of dental issues. A night guard will protect your teeth from coming into contact with each other, but does not have the vertical support offered by TMJ splints. Additionally, TMJ splints will position your jaw into an ideal position for resting, while that is not the goal of using a night guard. Patients are also directed to wear TMJ splints during the day, while the grinding that is impeded by a night guard usually only happens when someone is sleeping. If you suffer from teeth grinding or clenching, see how Red Bank Smiles can help you prevent tooth wear.
Participating in dental splint therapy will help cease jaw pain caused by strained muscles. Finding out what is causing this pain and which type of splint will be the best in correcting it are important steps that have to be completed before you can start. At Red Bank Smiles, our team will consult with you to diagnose the issue and find the right solution to fit your needs. Contact us to schedule an appointment today.