The Wellness Cabinet Logo

How to Choose the Best TMJ Mouthguard

How to choose the best mouthguard small

Do you suffer from TMJ disorder? If so, you know how painful it can be. One of the best ways to protect your jaw and alleviate some of the pain is by wearing a TMJ mouthguard.

But with so many options on the market, how do you choose the right one for you? This blog post will discuss everything you need to know about TMJ mouthguards.

We will cover their uses, who should wear them, and how to choose the right one for your needs. Let’s get started!

How to find the best mouth guard for TMJ

There are many causes of TMJ, from clenching your teeth to arthritis. If you suffer from TMJ, you know how painful it can be. Headaches, jaw pain, and earaches are all common symptoms.

TMJ mouthguard

Wearing a TMJ mouthguard can help to relieve these symptoms by providing support for the jaw and preventing teeth from grinding. But with so many TMJ mouthguards on the market, how do you choose the best one for you?

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a TMJ mouthguard:


Look for a TMJ mouthguard that is comfortable to wear. It should fit snugly without putting pressure on your jaws or teeth.


A TMJ mouthguard is made from durable material that will not break down easily. Look for a mouthguard with a warranty for added peace of mind.

Ease of use

A TMJ mouthguard should be easy to put in and take out. Some TMJ mouthguards require boiling before use. Choose the TMJ mouthguard that is easiest for you to use.

What is TMJ/TMD disorder?

TMJ anatomy Mayo Clinic

TMJ, or TMD (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), is a condition that can cause pain and dysfunction in the jaw joint and surrounding muscles. The TMJ is the joint that connects the lower jaw to the skull and is responsible for all the moving parts of the mouth, including chewing and talking.

TMJ disorder can affect people of all ages. Symptoms include

  • pain in the jaw, neck, and shoulders
  • clicking or popping sounds when moving the jaw
  • headaches
  • tinnitus (ringing in the ears)

In severe cases, TMJ disorder can also cause lockjaw, where the jaw gets “stuck” in one position.

There are many potential causes of TMJ disorder, including;

  • stress
  • arthritis
  • misalignment of the teeth
  • clenching or grinding of the teeth (bruxism)

Treatment options vary depending on the severity of the condition but may include

Causes and symptoms of teeth grinding (bruxism)

Teeth grinding, also called bruxism, is a condition in which you clench your teeth or grind them back and forth. This action often happens during sleep but can occur while you’re awake. Though it may not cause symptoms, severe teeth grinding can damage your teeth.

Up to 12% of people experience TMJ symptoms

You may develop flattened, fractured, or loose teeth and receding gums. You also may experience pain in your jaw or have headaches. If the condition is severe, you might be unable to open your mouth very wide. 

There are several possible causes of teeth grinding, including stress, misaligned teeth, an abnormal bite, or an injury to the jaw. People who use tobacco products or drink alcohol also are more likely to have the condition.

Children usually outgrow the problem by adolescence, but adults can continue to grind their teeth throughout life.

Several treatments are available to help stop the pain and relieve symptoms. Wearing a mouthguard at night is often recommended for people who grind their teeth during sleep.

Mouth guards for jaw pain

A TMJ mouthguard is a device that is worn over the teeth to help protect the TMJ from damage. A TMJ mouthguard helps to protect this joint by cushioning it and preventing the teeth from coming into contact with each other.

In addition, TMJ mouthguards can also help to reduce muscle tenderness and inflammation.

TMJ pain with redness woman

Mouth guards prevent painful pressure in several ways:

  • Maintaining proper alignment of the mouth and TMJ
  • Prevent clenching and grinding teeth.
  • Provide support for your jaw to allow the muscles in your jaw and face to relax
  • It prevents the locking of the jaw.
  • Provides support for an arthritic joint

Types of mouthguards


The type of mouth guard you will need depends on the specific condition. The two main types of guards are stabilization and repositioning. Both are initially worn 24 hours a day and then re-evaluate

Stabilization splints

Stabilization splints cover all of your teeth and prevent clenching and grinding (bruxism). Depending on your needs, they can be made from a soft or rigid material and reduce pain by easing the overuse or extension of the jaw muscles.

Repositioning splints

Repositioning splints do just that: reposition the lower jaw by pulling it forward. Like stabilization splints, they are initially worn 24 hours a day; however, after the pain subsides, a plan is made for long-term use of the device. TMJ mouthguards can be an effective way to treat TMJ disorders and relieve related pain.

Talk to your dentist or doctor to see if a TMJ mouthguard is right for you.

How to choose a mouth guard for teeth grinding?

There are a few things to remember when selecting a mouthguard, especially if you’re looking for one to help with TMJ.

  1. Make sure the mouthguard fits snugly and comfortably against your teeth. It shouldn’t be too loose or too tight.
  2. Consider the material of the mouthguard. Some people prefer softer materials that mold to the shape of their teeth, while others prefer harder materials that provide more support.
  3. Think about how easy the mouthguard is to clean. You’ll be wearing it in your mouth, so you’ll want to ensure it’s clean and free of bacteria.

Yellow and White Motivational Quotes

These things will help you choose the best mouthguard for your needs.

Custom mouthguard versus over the counter

There are two main types of mouthguards: custom mouthguards and over-the-counter mouthguards.

Custom mouthguards

Custom mouthguards are made by taking an impression of your teeth, which is then used to create a mold. Because they are made to fit your teeth exactly, custom mouthguards are more comfortable and less likely to irritate.

They also provide better protection since they fit snugly and don’t slip around in your mouth.

Your mouth and bite are unique to you. With a custom mouthguard, your dentist or oral surgeon will take a mold of your mouth to ensure a proper fit. Then, if there are issues or need to adjust, you have the benefit of a professional to accommodate you.


Over-the-counter mouthguards are pre-made and come in a variety of sizes. Both OTC and custom mouthguards offer protection and can be used at night or throughout the day. They may provide a good amount of cushion to help with grinding but will not be beneficial for correcting any jaw misalignment.

TMJ pain woman

Care and cleaning for your mouthguard

Caring for your TMJ mouthguard is essential to ensure that it works correctly and lasts as long as possible. To clean your TMJ mouthguard, rinse it with warm water and mild soap. You can also use a toothbrush to clean any build-up of plaque or bacteria.

Be sure to rinse the mouthguard thoroughly afterward. It is also a good idea to soak your TMJ mouthguard in a denture cleaner solution at least once weekly. Soaking will help kill any harmful bacteria that could cause irritation or infection.

If you notice any cracks or damage to your TMJ mouthguard, replace it as soon as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

only 50-60% of people with TMJ disorder will seek treatment

Does wearing a mouth guard help TMJ?

Wearing a mouth guard can help alleviate TMJ symptoms or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, characterized by pain and stiffness in the jaw and clicking or popping sounds when moving the jaw.

In severe cases, TMJ can lead to difficulty chewing and even headaches. While there is no cure for TMJ, wearing a TMJ mouthguard can help to minimize symptoms. The mouth guard works by evenly distributing bite pressure, which helps to reduce strain on the jaw joint.

Additionally, the mouth guard can support the lower jaw, preventing it from moving too far forward or backward. As a result, wearing a TMJ mouthguard can help to reduce pain and improve jaw function.

What kind of mouth guard is best for TMJ?

If you suffer from TMJ, you know the importance of finding a mouthguard that will provide relief from your symptoms. Unfortunately, there are many different types of TMJ mouthguards on the market, so knowing which one is best for you can be challenging.

TMJ disoders contribute to 17.8 million lost work days

Here is a rundown of the most common types of TMJ mouthguards to help you make an informed decision.

The first type of TMJ mouthguard is the over-the-counter (OTC) variety. These mouthguards can be found at most pharmacies and are often the cheapest option. However, they are generally the least effective, as they are not custom-fit to your mouth.

The second type of TMJ mouthguard is the one that is custom-made by your dentist. These mouthguards fit your specific teeth and jaw shape, which makes them much more comfortable and effective than OTC mouthguards. However, they are also usually more expensive.

The third type of TMJ mouthguard is an adjustable night guard. Wear these mouthguards while you sleep, which can be adjusted to provide the exact level of protection you need. They are generally a soft night guard and more comfortable than OTC or custom-made mouth guards.

How long should you wear a mouthguard for TMJ?

Mouthguards are recommended for people who suffer from TMJ or temporomandibular joint disorder. The purpose of a mouthguard is to prevent your teeth from grinding against each other, which can worsen TMJ symptoms.

Mouthguards can be worn during the day or at night for as long as possible to provide the most relief. Some people need to wear their mouthguard all day, while others only need to wear it at night.

more than 90% of patients are women in childbearing yars

However, it is essential to consult your dentist or doctor to determine how long you should wear your TMJ mouthguard. Wearing a mouthguard for too long can worsen TMJ symptoms, so it is essential to find the right balance.

With proper use, a TMJ mouthguard can provide significant relief from this painful condition.

How long does it take for a mouth guard to help TMJ?

A TMJ mouthguard is a device that is worn over the teeth to help prevent the lower jaw from moving excessively. A mouth guard can help reduce TMJ symptoms, including pain, clicking, and popping. In addition, the mouthguard helps to stabilize the jaw and keeps it from moving too much.

It is important to note that a TMJ mouthguard will not cure TMJ, but it can help to reduce the symptoms. Most people will see a difference within a few days to a week of wearing the mouthguard. However, in some cases, it may take longer for the symptoms to improve.

If the mouthguard does not seem to be helping after a few weeks, it is essential to talk to a doctor or dentist about other treatment options.

Can a mouthguard worsen TMJ?

A TMJ mouthguard is a treatment for TMJ, but there is debate over whether they actually help relieve the symptoms of the condition.

While mouthguards can help protect the teeth from grinding and clenching, they can also pressure the jaws and cause the muscles to tighten. This can worsen TMJ symptoms such as pain and stiffness. In some cases, TMJ mouthguards may even trigger an episode of TMJ.

For this reason, it is essential to consult with a doctor before using a TMJ mouthguard and to be sure to follow the instructions carefully.

photo of tmj night guard cleaning

Is an upper or lower mouth guard better for TMJ (temporomandibular disorder)?

If you suffer from TMJ, you may wonder what kind of mouth guard is best to help alleviate your symptoms. Both upper and lower mouth guards can effectively treat TMJ by supporting upper or lower teeth, but there are some key differences to consider.

Upper mouth guards cover the upper teeth and fit over the gum line, while lower mouth guards protect the bottom teeth and fit under the gum line. Both mouth guards can help cushion the jaw and reduce clenching and grinding.

However, upper mouth guards are often more comfortable to wear and can be easier to adjust than lower mouth guards. In addition, upper mouth guards are less likely to interfere with speech or breathing.

As a result, many people find that an upper mouth guard is the best option for treating TMJ.

Do mouthguards help with alignment?

Mouthguards are often worn to protect the teeth from damage during sports or other activities. However, they can also help to improve alignment and relieve pain associated with TMJ disorders. Mouthguards work by placing a barrier between the upper and lower teeth. This prevents the teeth from grinding against each other and helps to realign the jaw.

photo of dentist looking at xray

In addition, mouthguards can help reduce stress on the temporomandibular joints, leading to pain relief. While mouthguards will not cure a TMJ disorder, they can provide significant relief from symptoms.

If you have TMJ pain, seek professional help from your dentist, doctor, or oral surgeon.  

This blog may contain affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you. This does not influence our opinion of the product or service in any way. We only recommend products and services that we believe will benefit our readers.

This blog is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein should not be used to diagnose or treat any health condition or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider.