Phase 1 TMJ Treatment Plan (Splint Therapy, Tens Machine & J5)
Aside from the dentures, Nanay was given a TMJ splint (I was also given a TMJ splint)
MUSCLE RELAXATION SPLINT THERAPY is a very important part of phase I TMJ therapy. There are several goals in mind when utilizing splint therapy.
1. The splint is designed to allow the jaw joints to fully seat without the teeth interfering. The splint provides solid even contacts of the teeth all of the way around the arch at the proper relationship of the joints to the bite. When the joints are able to seat and the teeth are able to completely meet all of the way around simultaneously, then harmony in the system is re-established.
2. Muscle relaxation of the masticatory muscles is possible when there is harmony in the bite/joint system. When the bite relationship and the joint fully seated positions are coordinated, then the opening and closing muscles of the masticatory system are able to function in a more relaxed state. When there is an in coordination between the bite and the joints, then the muscles have to intervene to support the discrepancy. This creates muscle hyperactivity and can eventually relate to muscle spasm and muscle tension headaches. The splint is able to eliminate all noxious interference’s of the teeth and relieve stress in the joint complex.
3. Our goal, is that, with the re-coordination of the system, a high degree of relief of discomforting symptoms will occur simultaneously. So our fore-most goal is that you might experience a tremendous improvement in your comfort level as a re-establishing a harmonious system.
4. Utilizing splint therapy also provides for us a diagnostic aid in evaluating the problem itself. Very often in disorders of this type there are many factors involved in the symptoms that are felt. There may be simultaneous pain being expressed through muscle hyperactivity, through inflammation, or through internal damage within the temporomandibular joints, as well as, pressure on neighboring nerves, and as a result of clenching and bruxism. Splint therapy allows us to clarify the overall picture. Often, for instance, the majority of the pain may be coming from muscles. However, if through splint therapy we were able to relax the muscles, we may find a high degree of relief of symptoms. With stress being reduced to the joints, we may find the joints become comfortable. However, if through splint therapy we find that we can isolate the problem for better or for worse, then that is helpful information to us. If the joints themselves were the isolated problem, we would begin to focus in more closely on joints as the primary source of pain. However, if the joints improved through this therapy, we would focus more on the muscles and bite as the source of pain. Many of these things become clarified through the utilization of splint therapy.
5. In order for splint therapy to be maximally effective it will be necessary for you to comply with a few guidelines. With the goal of splint therapy being to re-coordinate the properly positioned joints and bite relationship, then the splint must be worn 24 hours a day in order to achieve this goal. We would recommend only removing the splint for brushing your teeth and at mealtime. It also takes time for corrective changes to occur with the body. We would expect utilizing splint therapy on a full time basis; anywhere between two to four months. It is sometimes necessary to utilize splints for longer periods of time in specific situations.
6. We will provide for you a container to keep your splint in when it is out of your mouth. We would recommend cleaning the splint on a daily basis with your toothbrush and toothpaste. We also recommend utilizing denture cleaners, such as “Efferdent or Polidant, to help in the cleaning of the splint as well. You may want to occasionally soak your splint in mouthwash.
7. It is very important that the splint feel solid and comfortable in your mouth at all times. If you find that you are experiencing any discomfort with the splint in place, please let us know. If you find that your bite relationship does not feel solid on the splint at any time, please let us know and we will see you to adjust it.
Both of us were also given Tens and J5 Therapy. The bio dentists said, it will relax the muscles in our jaw bone.