Dental Splints

Dental Splints for TMD

TMD (Temporomandibular Disorder) is a condition related to the TMJ (temporomandibular joint). This is the hinge that connects the lower jaw to the temporal bone of the skull. This joint is what controls the movement of your jaw as you talk, chew, and yawn. There are several causes of TMD such as facial surgery, accidents, grinding, clenching of the teeth, or uneven bite.

Symptoms include:

  • Pain when moving jaw
  • Limited ability to open the mouth wide
  • Jaws that seem to get stuck
  • Clicking, popping, or grating sounds when opening or closing the mouth

Another often overlooked cause for this condition is stress, with those cases primarily occurring in the 20-40 age group. Many people suffer with TMD without proper diagnosis because there are times that TMD resembles the same symptoms of migraine headaches.

A custom-designed, lab-fabricated mouth guard is the simplest and most cost effective treatment. Mouth guards are medical-grade acrylic mouthpieces that are custom made to fit over your teeth. They prevent the lower and upper teeth from coming together and open the bite by a few millimeters,  allowing the masseter muscles to relax  and thus preventing future damaging forces.

Dental Splints For Sports Dentistry

In 2012, the cost of dental injuries in the United States related to sports activities reached about $4.2 billion. However, 30-50% of these injuries could have been prevented by using an athletic occlusal guard. Sports like basketball, baseball, soccer and skateboarding require a guard but are never taken seriously until it is too late. The most common sports injuries are tooth loss and blunt trauma.  We strongly believe that these problems can be proactively prevented.

Dental Splints for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is a serious sleep disorder that is caused by a blockage in your airway. It affects more than 18 million Americans. It is a very dangerous problem which can have serious consequences (including death).

While we sleep, our whole body relaxes including the muscles in our upper throat and tongue. When a patient with sleep apnea falls asleep, the upper throat muscles block the airway and cause pauses in breathing. Other causes include a narrow throat or palate area, a lower jaw, large tongue, tonsils, neck, adenoids, and obesity.

The scariest part about OSA is that many people have it but typically dismiss the condition. The main symptom of OSA is snoring followed by occasional gasps for air, coughing, or sudden waking up.  Other symptoms include irritability, forgetfulness and persistent drowsiness. When these symptoms are discussed with either your physician or your dentist, they will refer you to have a polysomnogram (sleep study) to confirm this diagnosis.

We offer an option that is easy, fast to obtain and simple to use. Oral Appliance Therapy uses a Sleep Apnea Splint which repositions the lower jaw and tongue to allow an increase of airflow. The splint is very comfortable and easy to get used to. It requires a dental impression with some bite registration, and in 2-3 weeks you will be on your way to healthy, sound sleep.