I’m getting an anterior repositioning splint.

My dentist has recommended an anterior repositioning splint for my jaw. I’m not quite sure exactly what it is. Can you tell me if it is comfortable, what it’s made out of, and what  it is used to treat?

– Richard in Louisiana

Richard,

The anterior repositioning splint is used to correct TMJ disorder or related TMJ problems. It repositions the condyles which are part of the temporomandibular joint. The condyles sit at the hinge of the jaw. The appliance is made of acrylic. Your dentist is recommending this treatment to return the jaw into a more natural position to reduce any locking or clicking that you may experience. Over time this treatment will improve the relationship between the condyle and the disc in your TMJ. This appliance removes any interference and should improve your TMJ symptoms.

The anterior repositioning splint is usually worn for at least three months. The appliance itself is only a few millimeters thick. When your joint has repositioned properly, you will no longer need to wear it. Patients that see the best results are those that suffer from jaw clicking or reoccurring jaw locking, as well as inflammation in the TMJ. Another issue that the splint helps relieve is grinding or clenching. This TMJ treatment will help enable the muscles and ligaments in the TMJ to relax. It is important to mention that it can change your bite over time, so it should only be worn as instructed by your dentist. Don’t wear it any longer than is recommended.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

My crown feels tender

It has been over a month since I had a crown placed on the upper right side of my mouth. My tooth never used to bother me but now every time I bite down on that side, it hurts. When I talked to the dentist about it, he said to just give it some time. But now my jawbone and ear feel like they are starting to hurt. Do you think this is related? Any suggestions?

– Renee in Arizona

Renee,

It could very well be that your bite has not been adjusted like it should after your crown. When you bite or chew, your teeth come together in a certain way. So if your bite is off or is misaligned, it will continually bother you until it is fixed. The jaw pain could be related to the tempro-mandibular joint. The TMJ is the joint where the upper and lower jaw meet. The TMJ operates similarly to a ball and socket and allows your jaw to open and close properly. If your teeth are not coming together properly, the muscles around the TMJ can be aggravated. If left as is, you may be at risk for developing TMJ disorder which can cause extreme pain and headaches is left untreated. Sometimes people don’t even realize the fact that they are grinding their teeth while sleeping which may be contributing to your situation. Other TMJ symptoms are clicking, ringing heard in the ears, and issues with opening and closing the joint.

Feel free to take ibuprofen as needed, up to three times a day to help with the jaw pain. Hot and cold packs alternated may also help with any jaw irritation. This should help with the increased inflammation until you can get into your dentist to get your bite adjusted.

This post is sponsored by Newton MA cosmetic dentist Ultimate Aesthetics.

Related link: TMJ treatment