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TMJ Treatment: Bite Splints

San Antonio, Texas

Temporomandibular Joint Disorder (TMD) is a condition in which your bite becomes misaligned, causing many serious and often painful health problems. You will see the acronyms TMJ and TMD often used interchangeably, but they will also be used to distinguish the joint (TMJ) from the actual disorder of the joint (TMD).

One of the most painful and debilitating symptoms of TMD is a migraine-like headache. Many physicians, even neurologists, have not received the dental training required to diagnose TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) problems and how they relate to your migraines. Neuromuscular dentistry is the branch of dentistry that helps people to correct the jaw problems that have caused them pain for years, possibly even decades.

The other symptoms of TMD include:

  • Jaw and facial pain
  • Neck and shoulder pain
  • Ringing and pressure in the ears
  • Clicking and popping sounds of the jaw
  • Limited movement of the jaw
  • Clenching of the teeth
  • Grinding of the teeth (bruxism)
  • Painful, sensitive teeth

TMD Treatments

Often, patients see doctors for TMD symptoms and are given medications to treat their pain without treatment for what is actually causing the pain. Gneuromuscular dentistry* is the specialized area of dentistry that treats the causes, not just the effects, of the painful symptoms associated with a misaligned jaw.

One very successful treatment is the use of an orthotic, often called a “bite splint,” to reposition the muscles of the jaw and place the jaw in its optimal position. A bite splint is a removable appliance, usually fabricated of acrylic or composite, most often designed to cover all the biting surfaces of the teeth in the upper or lower jaw. All bite splints are intended to the do the same thing: provide an acrylic platform to bite against.

What type of bite splint you are to use and how long you are to use it must be decided upon by a highly trained gneuromuscular dentist such as Dr. Brian Hale in San Antonio, Texas. There are many different types from which to choose, and after a thorough examination and assessment of your condition, Dr. Hale will discuss options with you.

To learn more about TMD and its treatment with bite splints, please contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation.

Describe Your TMJ

Printable Form (PDF)
To help us better understand your specific pain points and determine the ideal treatment, please print this form. Circle all symptoms that apply to you and bring it to your TMJ consultation.