Pflugerville TMJ Mouthguards

Fixing Bite, Jaw, and TMJ problems

Occlusal guards come in a wide variety of designs depending on your doctor’s recommendations. One type of occlusal splint is called a permissive splint. This type of splint may be placed on either the upper or lower teeth. The surface of a permissive splint is to help individuals with a poor bite; jaw problems and TMJ issues like teeth grinding have more comfortable bites and less pain. The permissive splint from our Pflugerville dental office allows the jaws to have a bite surface that works better than their natural bite surface and allows the jaw sockets to relax.

If a person has a sore tooth, the jaw works around the sore tooth to prevent pain. By doing this, the jaw becomes tired, and jaw muscles may spasm. For this situation, an occlusal splint prevents the back teeth from touching and allows the front teeth to touch a smooth surface. When this happens, the jaw muscles can relax, and pain is reduced. The occlusal splint works within hours or a couple of days to relax the jaws and give a person much less jaw pain.

High crowns and fillings also affect the way the jaw closes and may cause pain in the jaw joints. An occlusal device that fits over the front teeth prevents the tooth with the high filling from causing the jaw to move incorrectly and also prevents pain in the affected tooth. Nearly any type of bite interference can be treated with an occlusal splint to relieve joint and muscle pain in the jaws.

In many cases, the jaw alignment can be corrected, and the bite improved to relieve the jaw joint stress with a properly cared for mouthguard. Then the occlusal splint can be adjusted to keep the jaws relaxed and the bite healthy. Our dental staff in Pflugerville can help analyze a person’s bite, provide them with the proper appliance to correct any bite problems, and substantially eliminate or reduce the amount of pain in the jaw joints and the number of headaches a person may experience.

Am I A Good Candidate For An Occlusal Guard? 

If you have a misaligned bite, grind your teeth, have TMJ, sleep apnea, or play contact sports, then you would make a great candidate for an occlusal guard. 

Mouthguards can hold your jaw in the correct alignment and keep your airway open to prevent obstruction to your airway associated with sleep disorders like sleep apnea, where the patient’s throats relax too much and block their ability to breathe. 

By wearing a mouthguard, this airway is never obstructed and you don’t have to wear a claustrophobic, loud, and uncomfortable CPAP machine. This is a great option for people with mild to moderate obstructive sleep apnea. 

In most other cases, occlusal guards protect your mouth from damage and injury. If you have symptoms of any of these conditions, we encourage you to come into our Pflugerville dental practice  for a consultation to determine if you could benefit from an occlusal guard. 

What To Expect During The Fitting Process

The process starts with a consultation with Dr. Mun, who will examine your teeth to determine if an occlusal guard is the right option for you. X-rays may need to be taken to check the state of your oral health and to check the development of permanent teeth.

Physical or digital impressions are then taken and sent to an outside dental lab. They will use this information to fabricate a mouthguard that is custom-fit to the measurements of your mouth and will fit snugly and comfortably over your teeth. 

Guard fabrication can take a few weeks but our Pflugerville team will call you back for another appointment when we have received them. After checking how they fit, we can determine if any adjustments need to be made or if you can go home with your aligners.

Benefits Of Occlusal Guards

There are so many benefits to wearing an occlusal guard. If you play contact sports or are very active and accident-prone, a mouthguard can protect your teeth and gums from injury and serious dental trauma. 

They also act as a cushion that absorbs the force of grinding and clenching jaws at night. This, in turn, protects your teeth from damage and reduces strain in your jaw associated with TMJ. Wearing a mouthguard over time can relieve symptoms of TMJ, such as jaw and face pain, headache, lockjaw, difficulty opening the jaw wide, and clicking sounds when opening your mouth. 

Occlusal guards are effective at treating mild to moderate sleep apnea so you can sleep through the night and don’t repeatedly wake throughout the night because you’ve stopped breathing. This helps treat symptoms of sleep apnea such as irritability, headaches, constant fatigue, and mood swings. 

Sleep apnea also increases your risk of serious medical conditions so by keeping your airway open, you are improving your overall health. It will stop you from snoring in the middle of the night and will save you a lot of money on restorative costs to repair damaged or broken teeth.