What is TMJ?
TMJ is short for temporomandibular joint disorder and refers to the joint which hinges your jaw together. This disorder is extremely common for people who suffer from bruxism which is clenching or grinding the teeth either when awake or asleep. Bruxism puts a great deal of stress on this joint and in severe cases can literally wear it out. People suffering from TMJ often find that this joint is very painful and that it hurts to press on it. Additional symptoms include a popping or clicking sound when opening or closing the mouth.
Getting a mouth guard to deal with this condition is an extremely sensible idea, as even if it doesn’t break the habit of bruxism it will at least help to alleviate the stress on the temporomandibular joint enabling the inflammation to subside. A TMJ mouth guard will reposition the jaw making bruxism more difficult and although sufferers may still bite down and grind on the mouth guard the pressure should be lessened and the condition should be less painful. The majorities of TMJ cases are purely temporary and are alleviated through conservative treatment such as the use of a mouth guard.
Asking your dentist’s advice
If you are looking at where to get a TMJ mouth guard then the most obvious place to start with is your dental office. They can make you a custom made mouth guard to treat TMJ, and this will fit your mouth exactly which should make it extremely comfortable to wear. Even if you choose not to go ahead with a custom made mouth guard it may still be useful to get your condition assessed by your dentist. They will be able to examine your temporomandibular joint and to see how much stress and wear has been placed upon it. However this option is quite costly, and it may be better to buy a ready-made mouth guard that can immediately treat the problem than to wait and save up for a custom-made guard.
Choosing to buy a ready-made mouth guard
Ready-made mouth guards are easily purchased from a number of different stores and can also be ordered over the Internet. They can be bought for just a few dollars, but the best types to choose are those that can be readily adapted to fit your mouth. Try to look for a resilient but flexible material that won’t easily tear. Mouth guards that can be trimmed to fit over your teeth can offer a more comfortable fit. The so-called ‘boil and bite’ mouth guards are particularly good as they are heated up in hot water before being carefully molded around your teeth to give a more custom fit.
Taking your time over adapting these ready-made mouth guards will ensure that you end up with a comfortable and well-fitting product that you will be more inclined to use. Be prepared for your mouth guard to feel a little strange at first as many people find them quite bulky to wear initially, but this feeling should soon pass. Some wearers also find that they produce more saliva than normal while getting used to the feel of their mouth guard.