While most often used to keep recently straightened teeth in place or prevent teeth grinding, retainers can also assist with the discomfort and symptoms of prevalent jaw pain. The jaw joints, which serve as the hinges connecting your jawbone to your skull on each side of your face, are affected by the disease known as temporomandibular disorder (TMD).
The most prevalent symptom of this condition is pain in the jaw area, but other symptoms include ear and side of the face discomfort.
A clicking or popping sound that happens anytime you move your jaw, an indication of a problem with the joint itself, is the most apparent symptom of TMD. It may also cause lockjaw and trouble completely opening your mouth in specific circumstances.
TMD therapy may depend on the underlying cause of the condition. Stress and jaw injuries can also result in TMD, and in those circumstances, treatment will focus on controlling and treating the underlying problem. However, in most instances, it is brought on by a confluence of a misaligned bite, bruxism (or tooth grinding), and general joint wear.
In these situations, a retainer or mouthguard can be worn at night to prevent jaw locking, lessen teeth grinding, relax tight facial muscles, and in certain circumstances, realign the jaw and teeth to correct any underlying bite problems. The best person to consult about TMD therapy and mouthguards is your dentist.
How long should you wear the retainers?
Retainers are typically worn for one year, which is how long you wear your braces. Depending on your particular circumstance, this can also include wearing them exclusively at night for a few years after wearing them full-time for six months. Your orthodontist will advise you on The ideal period to remove your retainer. It's crucial to adhere to your orthodontist's advice.
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