TMJ Disorders

“TMJ” is a broad term for facial pain usually in the head and neck areas often isolated to the jaw joints (temporomandibular joints).  Many times the pain is actually related to the supporting muscles in the head and neck region.  An occlusal splint or orthotic device is a specially designed mouth guard for people who grind their teeth, have a history of TMJ pain, and dysfunction, or have completed a full mouth reconstruction.  An occlusal splint is custom made using detailed study models on an instrument called an articulator that simulates the movement of the jaws.  The occlusal guard, as it is sometimes called, is made from processed acrylic resin and is designed to guide the jaw as it moves side to side and front to back.  This precise custom appliance not only protects the teeth from harmful habits, but it supports the TMJ and the muscles that are used in chewing.