The habit of teeth grinding and clenching is categorized as TMJ, and it brings along issues like jaw pain, headaches, and chewing difficulties. Since it’s involuntary, you can take measures to deal with the situation and minimize pain, and one such solution is to use a mouth guard. Let’s take a look at various aspects of it and find out how long you have to wear a mouth guard for TMJ to maximize its effectiveness.

What Does Mouth Guard Do For TMJ?

A mouth guard plays a significant role in managing temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorders. It is usually worn for 7-8 hours for several weeks to even years depending on your condition’s severity.

They work by holding the jaw in the correct position and minimizing the pressure being put on them. It acts as a barrier between the upper and lower jaws to alleviate pain. Here’s a detailed explanation of what you can expect from a mouth guard.

  1. Preventing Teeth Clenching and Grinding
    Mouth guards serve as physical barriers between the jaws so that they do not grind. By reducing bruxism, TMJ pain goes down, alleviating strain and pressure on the jaw joint.
  2. Correcting Improper Bite Alignment
    Certain mouth guards are designed to gently reposition your lower jaw. They do so in a way that sets the misalignment issues – a major reason for TMJ problems. By aligning the jaw correctly, these specialized mouth guards relieve stress for an optimally functioning TMJ.
  3. Relaxing Jaw and Facial Muscles
    One of the benefits of using a mouth guard for your TMJ is the ability to relax. They ease overactive jaw and facial muscles, which can also cause spasms.
  4. Preventing Jaw Lock
    If your TMJ is suffering, the hinge might also lock itself and restrict movement, which is excruciatingly painful. Mouth guards can prevent that from happening.

How Long Is The Wear Time Of Mouth Guard For TMJ?

In a nutshell, the ideal wearing time of a mouth guard for TMJ problems depends on multiple factors that are related to your condition.

It all starts with gauging the intensity of your TMJ discomfort. With mild pain, one might find relief by wearing a mouth guard only at night, that is, for about 7 to 8 hours. However, if you have severe symptoms such as jaw locking or constant pain, wearing a mouth guard for long hours, like throughout the day, might be necessary.

There are multiple kinds of mouth guards available to specifically cater distinct purposes. Some are set just for nighttime wear. Their main area of focus is preventing teeth grinding while you sleep. On the other hand, mouth guards for daytime use aim to relax jaw muscles and reduce clenching habits.

Closing Note

Because the ideal wearing time is unique to your TMJ condition, talking to your dentist is the best way forward.

They have the necessary knowledge and expertise to accurately assess your needs and recommend the most appropriate type of mouth guard. If you want more information about them from us, make an appointment as soon as possible.

Do not hesitate to contact our expert, Dr. Jeevan Ghatnekar, an ADA, CDA, Academy of General Dentistry member at Irvine Family & Implant Dentistry, for all your dental needs. Our experienced staff can help you at every step of the way.

To book a consultation, just give us a call at (949) 552-1380.

Skip to content