TMJ Mouth Guard

My family cannot afford to go to the dentist for many reasons. My parents have had recent medical issues which have us owing over three thousand dollars or so in expenses. But my TMJ is bothering me so much. It has been a few weeks now that it has been locked up and I have a lot of difficulty even opening my mouth. Do you know if one of the mouth guards that I can get at the drug store will work? Or are they even worth it?

– Ashley in Rhode Island

Ashley,

Sorry to hear that you deal with TMJ disorder. Have you tried using hot and cold packs? If you alternate between using the hot and then the cold pack multiple times through the day, this may help with the inflammation in the joint. Go ahead and give it a try if you haven’t already and keep the packs in place for 10 minute intervals. You should also try 800mg of ibuprofen as needed or up to three times a day to help with the inflammation and pain.

To answer your question, the mouth guard that you buy in the store is probably going to help a little bit. It depends on how much your grind your teeth because you will wear it down pretty fast if you grind a lot. There are different sizes available at the store. It is probably best to go with the one size fits all, unless you know your exact size. One of these mouth guards will probably cost about 20 dollars and it is better than nothing. Although, you will be much better off treating your temporomandibular joint dysfunction by getting a guard from the dentist’s office. It will be well worth the few hundred dollars for a custom fit. It is also possible that your dental insurance may cover this kind of treatment, if you have insurance. Or you may want to consider CareCredit. Many dentists accept their interest-free payment plans. You can also talk to your dentist about your situation and they may have payment plans, a medical card, or other program available to help out.

Hopefully this information was helpful.

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