Have you ever experienced a painful sensation whenever you try to open and close your mouth? The pain site is usually in the jaw joint area that is located near the front of the ear. Sometimes the pain will just go away after a short period of time but there are also times that the pain is so intense leading to long-term symptoms.

How do you define TMJ? The term TMJ is also referred to as temporomandibular joint. It is the area in which the mandible (lower jaw) and the maxilla (upper jaw) meet. To facilitate movements in the mouth, this particular joint has a disc sandwiched between the sliding ball and socket. TMJ is very important because if we don’t have it, we can hardly open or close our mouths. Thus, it is also vital for talking, yawning, and most especially, chewing. Temporomandibular joints consist of tendons, bones, and muscles that are attached or surrounding it. You can actually locate TMJ by just putting a finger in front of the ear canal.

There are some cases wherein a person may experience a discomfort in the temporomandibular joint or also known as TMJ disorder. This disorder is characterized by the pain felt in the jaw joint. Because of the pain, a person may have a hard time in opening or closing the mouth. The problem could be the joint itself or sometimes, it is due to the inflammation of the muscles that are surrounding it. But do not be too alarmed if you are experiencing TMJ disorders because there are simple treatments for it.

There is no known cause for the occurrence of TMJ but some health experts believe that it may be associated with stress or teeth grinding. It may also be due to the dislocation of the disc that is located between the ball and socket of the jaw joint. As for the treatment, a TMJ splint can be of great help.

The occlusal splint is usually made of plastic that can either be soft or hard. It is a removable occlusal appliance that can cover the upper or bottom teeth. There are indeed several types of occlusal splints depending on the case. The repositioning splint is considered as the most intrusive form of splint treatment because it can actually cause long-lasting changes on the way you bite. This kind of splint is for making the jaw do forward or backward movements. The flat plane splint or stabilization splint is for reducing the incidence of grinding of the tooth as well as for the relaxation of inflamed jaw muscles. This type of splint is covering all the upper teeth. The type of splint that prevents the occurrence of grinding and clenching of tooth is none other than the Modified Hawley splint. But this should only be worn at night.