Treatment Options for TMJ Disorder

TMJ BismarckTMJ disorder can put a damper on your quality of life. This condition results in significantly diminished oral function and considerable discomfort. Our prosthodontist provides occlusal splint therapy and equilibration as treatment options.

What is TMJ disorder and how does it develop?

Just below our ears is the temporomandibular joint (TMJ). This joint works with facial muscles and ligaments to move the mouth in a variety of motions. Every time we chew, laugh, yawn, or speak, the TMJ and its supportive tissues are engaged.

When the TMJ is damaged, it can dysfunction. This could result in a person encountering discomfort when eating or speaking. It may also impair a person’s ability to open their mouth. Those who have TMJ disorder may have facial soreness and pain along with frequent headaches.

A few conditions can lead to the development of TMJ. Tooth wear or a misaligned bite can put strain on the TMJ, facial muscles, and ligaments. Bruxism – the habit of grinding or clenching teeth – is a common cause of TMJ disorder, too. Some developmental and anatomical abnormalities contribute to TMJ dysfunction as well.

Occlusal Splints

An occlusal splint is a custom-made appliance that positions the mouth in a way that relieves pressure and strain off the TMJ. These splints are typically worn at night and can help prevent bruxism. Occlusal splints are a comfortable and non-invasive way to get relief from TMJ disorder.


The way the upper and lower sets of teeth line up when the mouth is closed plays a role in comfortable oral function. When both sets of teeth line up improperly, it can produce strain on the TMJ. Equilibration is a procedure for treating TMJ disorder than helps produce healthier contact between teeth.

This treatment involves meticulously filing teeth down to adjust the points where they make contact. Although equilibration makes very minor adjustments to teeth, it can make a big difference in promoting healthier TMJ function. Equilibration is a minimally invasive treatment option that can work in conjunction with occlusal splint therapy to improve your quality of life.

If you have questions about TMJ disorder treatment, call Dakota Prosthodontics and Implant Center to schedule a consultation with our prosthodontist.

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