Mouthguards are effective in moving soft tissue in the oral cavity away from the teeth, preventing laceration and bruising of the lips and cheeks, especially for those who wear orthodontic appliances.
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Trauma to the jaw or jaw joint sometimes plays a role in TMD, but in most cases the cause of the disorder is unknown. Most experts suggest that certain tasks, either mental or physical, may cause or aggravate TMD, such as stressful situations. Most discomfort is caused from overuse of the muscles, specifically clenching or grinding teeth (bruxism). These excessive habits tire the jaw muscles and lead to discomfort, such as headaches or neck pain.
Updated: November 2008
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