TMJ, also known as temporomandibular joint disorder, is a medical disorder that occurs when the jaw is out of alignment. The jaw hinges cause clicking noises when they open or close, which can cause considerable jaw, neck and back pain. Jaw movement and pain can occur especially when talking, eating or yawning. TMJ can be treated with over-the-counter mouth splints, mail order mouth splints or splints from your dentist that are moulded specifically for your mouth.
Over-the-counter mouth splints
You can purchase splints for TMJ that are measured to the approximate size of a small, medium and large jaw. These mouth splints are the least expensive of all the guards on the market. Some over-the-counter guards can be purchased at your local drugstore, like the DenTek Night Guard, or discounted guards online, like the Sleep Right Slim Comfort Dental Guard. If the night guard does not fit correctly, you might consider purchasing a mouth guard that is custom fit to your mouth.
Mail order mouth splints
You can purchase mail order mouth splints online at stores like Amazon.com and Drugstore.com. These kits do not come with the finished product. Instead, they provide a piece of wax or plaster to bite down on. These moulds are then sent to a mouth splint or mouth guard company that makes the finished splint for you and sends it back. You should expect to receive your finished splint in between four and eight weeks.
Splints from your dentist
Another alternative is to purchase one from your dentist. He or she will fit you for a mouth guard by pouring a liquid plaster into your mouth and allowing it to set. The plaster is removed and sent to a lab, where the mouth guard is made. The advantage to getting a mouth guard from a dentist instead of from mail order is that the dentist can sand and fine-tune the mouth guard depending on how it fits in your mouth after it has been made.