TMJ Splints for Relieving Headaches
An introduction to temporomandibular joint disorders (TMD)
The term temporomandibular disorder (TMD) describes the collection of symptoms that are associated with the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or jaw joint. The TMJs, which are located in front of each ear, connect the lower jaw to the skull and allow you to perform such functions as opening and closing your mouth, speaking, chewing, and swallowing. People who suffer from temporomandibular joint disorders often experience painful, ongoing symptoms, including:
- Persistent TMJ pain and headaches. The pain can be mild or severe and can start in the front of the head, along the sides, in the upper part of the neck, or it can radiate to all areas.
- Ear pain or stuffiness and ringing in the ears
- Facial pain or tightness
- Neck and shoulder pain
- Pain above or behind the eyes
- Limited ability to open the mouth
TMJ disorders are referred to as “the great imposters” because the symptoms caused by temporomandibular joint malocclusion often go undiagnosed, despite various treatments and trips to specialists. Millions of people in the United States live with TMD symptoms; unfortunately, many of them do not recognize the source of their pain. This often results in unnecessary visits to the doctor and dentist, which can lead to a pile of medical bills and the frustration of unsuccessful treatments. The Aqualizer®‘s unique fluid system can be used to both diagnose and treat TMJ problems.
When to wear Aqualizer® TMJ pain-relieving splints:
TMJ/TMD sufferers use Aqualizer temporary splints for pain relief, functional improvement, and as an aide to the diagnosis and treatment of dentally triggered or exacerbated disfunction and pain.
It is a temporary device, and to the extent that it helps, permanent dental treatment is indicated. Its use life is just a few days out to maybe a week or so depending on the users clenching, bruxing habits.
The Aqualizer de-accommodates the function of your jaw automatically, this is a preview of what proper bite treatment (usually splint therapy), is capable of improving.
If this de-accomodation helps then dental treatment is indicated. The catch is that the dentist needs to use the Aqualizer to guide treatment, or there is no guarantee of the treatment matching the Aqualizer’s effectiveness.
If wearing the Aqualizer makes symptoms, function or balance worse, diagnosis needs to be broadened, to possibly include postural, cranial and ocular issues to determine the origin of the problem, and the proper treatment sequence.
Buying lots of Aqualizers will not permanently correct your bite problem, and is not a replacement for dental treatment, you will need to have the “Aqualizer de-accomodated” position of your jaw supported by a dental solution, either correction of your bite or a splint.
Follow your therapist’s instructions. They may have you wear the Aqualizer® during, before, and after treatment. After an initial period of TMJ disorder diagnosis, Aqualizer® splints are generally not worn unless symptoms are present. Patients usually wear an Aqualizer® during periods of stress or pain. Simply insert the Aqualizer® if you feel TMJ stress and headaches coming on. The Aqualizer® should be worn for a minimum of 15 minutes or for twice the amount of time it previously took for initial relief to occur. To prolong its use-life, wear the Aqualizer® as little as possible to control your TMJ pain. Aqualizer® splints may last for up to several weeks, depending on how forcefully you clench or grind your teeth. Do not wear the Aqualizer® while eating or brushing your teeth. After wearing, clean your Aqualizer® with soap and water or mouthwash. Do not wear the Aqualizer® for more than eight hours in any 24-hour period, as this protects the oral tissues from unnecessary irritation.
Warning: Do not wear an Aqualizer® if you lack a normal gag reflex.
Why the Aqualizer® controls TMJ pain and headaches so well:
A person’s jaw is positioned by the way his or her upper and lower teeth fit together. This fit is called “occlusion.” Sometimes the occlusion of the teeth forces the jaw into a position which strains the muscles. Over time, the overworked muscles of the jaw become exhausted, causing inflammation and pain in the temporomandibular joint (TMJ), or jaw joint, area. TMJ pain is often referred to other parts of the body, including the head, neck, shoulders, and upper back. Stress on these muscles caused by clenching and nighttime bruxing due to malocclusion makes TMJ pain and headaches even worse. By removing the dominance of the teeth and freeing the muscles to strike an optimal, functional balance on closure, the Aqualizer® removes the constant accommodation forced on the muscles positioning the jaw.
The Aqualizer®’s flexible fluid layer equalizes all bite forces by preventing tooth-to-tooth contact. This removes the teeth from dominance and allows the muscles to take over. Having been freed from the control of the teeth, your muscles respond instantly by repositioning the jaw into the most comfortable, least accommodated position. As your jaw changes position to suit the needs of the muscles, the fluid pads provide comfortable support and readjust to the changing relationships of the teeth, providing continual optimal support.
Unlike the majority of splints available on the market, the Aqualizer® takes the guesswork out of treatment by allowing the body to unravel distortion and naturally balance itself. While others distort and disable the bite, the Aqualizer® lets the body naturally find ideal occlusion.
If you are suffering from temporomandibular joint ( TMJ) related pain and headaches, the Aqualizer® may be able to relieve your symptoms. Find out how our unique TMJ-treating splints can help you by contacting us today.