TMJD, Plastic Night Guards, and the Somnowell

jaw painIt is estimated in some countries that Temperomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJD) affects up to 20% of the population. Very often the condition is misdiagnosed as it appears to be like many other illnesses. 

The temperomandibular joint is one of the most complex joints in the body. TMJD is a complicated disorder and might be due to a number of different things. Typical reasons include clenching or grinding of the teeth, dental problems in the way the teeth fit together, arthritis, and injury to the facial bones or jaw. The ensuing pain can be severe and constant, causing sufferers to seek treatment. Fortunately most instances of TMJD are temporary and treatment is conservative.

At the start of treatment the jaw should be rested. This can help to heal the jaw joints. Pain relief drugs and warm compresses can also be needed. Eating soft foods that don't need a lot of chewing are also recommended. A dentist may then fit an oral device, also known as a splint. This is a plastic device that fits over the teeth and appears like a sports mouth guard. The point of the splint is to reduce grinding and clenching that frequently happens at night whilst the patient is asleep.

A new oral device for TMJD is the Somnowell Mandibular Advancement Appliance. The Somnowell is the 1st device of this type to be made from chrome cobalt alloy, making it smaller and more comfortable than bulky plastic devices. Being less bulky it also introduces less vertical opening which can be beneficial and is certainly more comfortable. As a result the jaw joint is in an upwards and forwards position that seems to be preferable and gives relief and rest for the joint.

The new Somnowell oral device works in the same way as the conventional plastic splints. It is worn in the mouth at night time and is designed to reduce clenching and grinding. Plastic devices quickly deform and degrade in the mouth, particularly when subjected to clenching and grinding. Chrome cobalt alloy is extremely strong and robust, like gold it does not deform or degrade in the mouth and is impervious to the effects of clenching and grinding. Another benefit is the improved cleanliness, chrome cobalt alloy is highly resistant to oral fungi, unlike plastic devices that need intensive maintenance and quickly become manky and stinky.

It is advised to always seek out the advice of a TMJD specialist who will be able to inform on the best course of treatment.

Image courtesy of Michal Marcol/



Somnowell Inventor - Visiting Professor Simon Ash FDS MSc MOrth BDS

Prof. Ash is the inventor of the highly successful SOMNOWELL Chrome device for snoring and sleep apnoea.

The Somnowell Chrome is made to exacting standards in the Somnowell laboratory under the supervision of Visiting Professor Simon Ash. Prof. Ash and his master technicians create each Somnowell Chrome device using their wealth of experience and expertise.

Prof. Ash works at the forefront of his profession. He is a Consultant and Specialist Orthodontist with over 30 years clinical experience, with a special interest in sleep related breathing disorders, TMJD, and bruxism. He currently works in Harley Street London and two private hospitals in London as part of a multi-disciplinary team managing snoring and sleep apnoea, and is Visiting Professor of Orthodontics at the BPP University.