TMJ & Oral Appliances Specialist

Jaikrishnan R Kakanar, DDS -  - Cosmetic and Family Dentist

Jaikrishnan R Kakanar, DDS

Cosmetic and Family Dentist located in Burbank, CA

If you regularly grind your teeth or clench your jaw, you’re also at risk of TMJ. Custom-crafted oral appliances can ease pressure on your temporomandibular joints, prevent damage to your tooth enamel, and preserve your smile. In Burbank, California, cosmetic and family dentist Jaikrishnan R. Kakanar, DDS, offers treatment for TMJ and teeth grinding with oral appliances. Schedule an appointment for TMJ and oral appliances online or call the office today.

TMJ & Oral Appliances Q & A

What is TMJ?

TMJ is a common problem that affects more than 10 million Americans. It occurs when your temporomandibular joints –– two hinge-like pieces of tissue that connect your jaws to your skull –– become irritated or inflamed, resulting in pain and difficulty chewing.

Anyone can experience TMJ, but your risk increases if you have a family history, a degenerative condition like rheumatoid arthritis or you’ve suffered a previous jaw injury.

It’s also common in people who clench their jaw or grind their teeth, a condition known as bruxism.

What are the symptoms of TMJ?

Common symptoms of TMJ include:

  • Jaw pain or tenderness
  • Aching pain in or around your ears
  • Difficulty chewing or biting
  • Persistent facial pain

As TMJ progresses, you might also notice that your jaw makes a popping or clicking sound whenever you open your mouth.

What is the relationship between TMJ and oral appliances?

If you regularly experience TMJ pain, and it doesn’t respond to conservative measures of care like rest, ice, and over-the-counter pain medication, Dr. Kakanar might recommend a custom oral appliance. 

TMJ oral appliances are a tough but flexible thermoplastic that prevents your teeth from rubbing up against one another. Dr. Kakanar designs each appliance to complement the shape and position of your teeth and jaws. He makes oral appliances in-office.

What other conditions can oral appliances help treat?

Dr. Kakanar offers several types of oral appliances, including:

Night guards

Night guards are custom oral appliances used to prevent teeth grinding (bruxism), jaw clenching, and sleep apnea. Generic night guards fit snugly over your teeth and protect your tooth enamel. They can also reduce TMJ pain if bruxism is contributing to it. 

Night guards for sleep apnea are a little different. They push your lower jaw slightly forward to open your airway. That lowers the risk of snoring, allowing you to get a restful night’s sleep.

Sports guards

If you’re an athlete or physically active individual, consider a sports guard. Sports guards are custom oral appliances that protect your teeth during exercise. They’re particularly beneficial for individuals who play contact sports like hockey, football, or basketball.

Do I need TMJ treatment and an oral appliance?

To determine if you can benefit from TMJ treatment and/or an oral appliance, Dr. Kakanar conducts an oral exam, reviews your dental health history, and asks about your symptoms. He then takes oral X-rays to get a closer look at your teeth and jaw alignment.

After gathering the necessary information, Dr. Kakanar can make recommendations that align with your needs.

To learn more about TMJ and oral appliances, request a consultation at the practice of Jaikrishnan R. Kakanar, DDS. Schedule an appointment by calling the office or booking online today.