For many people, TMJ is related to an imbalance in the way teeth fit together. This puts excessive pressure on the jaw joints and may cause stress in the jaw muscles. The impacts of this dysfunction can be disruptive, even disabling and may range far beyond the jaw.
When treating this imbalance, we often use a bite splint, which serves to hold your jaw in a comfortable position. The bite splint can provide long-term relief from your TMJ symptoms, and for many people it’s a great solution. But for some people, the bite splint should be seen as a temporary solution. We may recommend that instead of continuing to rely on the bite splint, we should rebuild your teeth in a process called full mouth reconstruction.
Full mouth reconstruction builds up your teeth so that they fit together and hold your jaw in the relaxed position, without need for a bite splint. But who benefits most from making this change? Here are some situations where we are more likely to recommend full mouth reconstruction.
Your Teeth Are Already Damaged
TMJ can often damage your teeth. It can cause excessive wear, chipping, and cracking. If your teeth have been damaged by TMJ, then it only makes sense that we should repair them, and, in the process, restore the healthy balance in your bite.
This is the situation where we’re most likely to recommend full mouth reconstruction.
You Need to Wear the Splint All Day
TMJ can be very different for different people. And so can their treatment. Usually, you will start out wearing your bite splint all day. But, as your condition improves, you may switch to just wearing the bite splint at night. This makes it a lot less intrusive. Just put it in before bed and take it out in the morning.
But for some people, TMJ treatment requires that they keep their bite splint in all day long. If your imbalance is such that you have to wear the splint all day long, it might be better to get rid of the implant in favor of building up your teeth with new restorations. That way, you can minimize the impact TMJ has on your daily life. You can just enjoy a new, comfortable smile.
You Are Having Trouble with the Splint
Sometimes, the splint is doing its job in terms of putting your jaw in the right position, but it’s a nuisance in other ways.
Some people have difficulty sleeping with the splint in. Or perhaps they tend to forget to put it in at night, and periodically wake up with jaw pain and headaches.
Other times, the problem might be that you constantly forget where you put it. Or maybe you drop it, run it over, or leave it where kids or dogs can get it and damage it. After a few cycles of replacement, it can seem like full mouth reconstruction is a smarter option.
You Want a More Beautiful Smile
Maybe you’ve long been considering cosmetic dentistry, anyway, but couldn’t decide whether to proceed with it. TMJ may be the tipping point. Full mouth reconstruction doesn’t just make your smile healthier, it can give you a brighter, more beautiful smile.
If you are wanting to get a more beautiful smile anyway, continuing with the bite splint doesn’t make sense.
It’s Your Decision
In the end, we are focused on ensuring that your TMJ gets treated. All the treatment options we offer are good, and we’ll work with you to help you decide which is the best treatment for your TMJ.
To get started with TMJ treatment or to talk about full mouth reconstruction in Columbus, OH, please call (614) 848-5001 today for an appointment with neuromuscular dentist Dr. Mike Firouzian at Firouzian Dentistry.