The Oral Appliance Process
The oral appliance process starts with a positive diagnosis of your TMJ. Often, this involves relaxing your jaw muscles with TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation). This can provide immediate relief from jaw pain, headaches, and other symptoms of muscle tension.
Then Dr. Stafford will determine the optimal position of your jaw the oral appliance will hold your jaw in that position and also protect your teeth from damage related to bruxism.
Sometimes you might need an adjustment. This can occur as your jaw responds to treatment or as the condition progresses.
Wearing Your Oral Appliance
At first, you will probably want to wear your oral appliance all day. Your jaw needs to be repositioned and your muscles adapted to holding your jaw in a healthy position.
Over time, you will transition to wear it just at night. Your initial relief from symptoms will diminish at first, then improve over time as the jaw adjusts. In about six to eight weeks, you’ll experience fairly complete relief from symptoms, though it can take longer.
It can take time to adapt, however, over time you will get comfortable wearing it. Most people find that they can adapt well to wearing an oral appliance for their TMJ.
Is an Oral Appliance Your Long-Term TMJ Treatment?
For most people, this is a good long-term treatment option. If it works for you, then we will keep using it. However, sometimes people might need additional treatment. We will determine this based on:
- Your symptom relief
- Your ability to adapt to wearing the appliance
- Your need for repair of crooked, damaged, or worn teeth
If you need additional treatment beyond oral appliance therapy, we will talk to you about options such as restorative dentistry, surgery, or orthodontics.
Effective TMJ Treatment in Fort Atkinson
If you are tired of dealing with symptoms of TMJ, we can help you find the best treatment option to give you relief.
To learn whether oral appliance therapy is right for your TMJ, please contact Bite Align, serving all of Jefferson County from our office in Fort Atkinson.