The most common dental treatment for TM disorders is using splints or bite plates for a short period of time. Splints?called occlusal splints?are usually clear, plastic appliances that fit between the upper and lower teeth. They help reduce grinding and clenching (bruxism) and, in turn, can relieve muscle tension and pain. This may allow a displaced disc to return to its normal position. Splints are used over short periods of time so that they do not cause permanent changes in the teeth or jaw.
Temporarily avoid dental work (such as crowns, bridges, or shaving down the teeth) and orthodontic treatmentsinvolving permanent changes to the jaw. At best, these measures may not work any better than conservative treatments. At worst, they can cause irreversible damage. If your doctor recommends surgery or other treatment that involves permanent changes, be sure to get a second opinion before you start treatment.