An orthotic appliance provides a holistic approach to TMJ management, in the sense that it addresses the whole body. Dr. Ivan Stein of the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey discusses the use of orthotic appliances and the way they correct not only the TMJ, but the patient’s entire posture.
Orthotic appliances reposition the patient’s bite, which is causing TMJ symptoms. When the bite is out of alignment, the entire body is affected. A misaligned bite may result in tense muscles that never get the opportunity to relax.
An orthotic appliance is not like a splint, mouth guard or other devices used for jaw and mouth treatment. The appliance is specifically designed for the individual, and adjusts for every bite aspect. There are various types of orthotic appliances available, and the doctor will choose the best one for that particular patient’s purposes.
Measuring for a custom-made orthotic appliance is done only when the patient has received some form of physical therapy for jaw relaxation. The doctor takes many detailed impressions of the patient’s mouth while measuring for an orthotic appliance. Careful fitting is also required, as the patient must have the ability to speak and eat comfortably with the orthotic appliance.
How They Work
An orthotic appliance works by taking pressure off the temporomandibular joint, and relaxing the affected muscles. Keep in mind that these appliances require 24/7 wear, as less than that will not fully correct the condition. It stays on even while eating. The constant wear, perhaps split into daytime and nighttime orthotic appliances, will eventually achieve a TMJ cure. Not only does the orthotic appliance ensure the correct muscles are used in chewing and other activities, it also contributes to improving the patient’s entire posture.
While the length of time necessary for the orthotic appliance to work varies by the individual, in general you can expect to wear it for between four and six months.
When a person’s bite is out of alignment, TMJ is just one of the issues they may suffer. An orthotic appliance may also aid in alleviating related problems, such as headache as well as ear, face, neck or back pain.
For More Information, Contact the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey
If you would like to learn more about the TMJ disorder and how orthotic appliances may help, schedule a consultation with Dr. Ivan Stein at the Headache & TMJ Center of New Jersey. He will answer all of your questions and address any concerns.