TMJ has many symptoms with pain being the most common among them. Both its symptoms and pain are temporary. Thus, self-care practices make the most recommended approach to managing TMJD.
A dental appliance, however, can be used for symptoms that cause more than pain. For instance, a guard mouth can help with one TMJ symptom that is teeth grinding. Not necessarily with the pain, but with keeping teeth properly aligned.
TMJ and Guard Mouth
The National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, as well as The Jaw Health Resource, do recognize the use of stabilization splints or bite guard for managing TMD. Doctors and dentists recommend these devices for short-time use only. They discourage any procedures involving these devices for a permanent change in the bite until studies unveiled the real cause of these joint disorders.
The Institute makes it clear though that these devices have not been proven to alleviate TMD-related pains. A personal account published on tmj.org also said the same thing about these medical devices. That it can help keep your teeth properly aligned, but not in easing the pain.
Out of Hand Teeth Grinding
Teeth grinding can be bad for your teeth and oral health. Besides causing crooked teeth, it can also cause wear and tear on your teeth. In severe cases, that can lead to eating away your enamel and exposing it to bacteria. Infection is likely to follow.
Nerve damage is also possible with teeth cracking, so with breaking down of fillings and other forms of dental replacements due to grinding.
Your front teeth can also become flat and even with severe grinding. Worst, it can knock your teeth loose.
Relaxation techniques and medication also help ease pains caused by TMD. Having enough sleep is also found to be helpful in reducing pain, as opposed to those that lack one.
All these are conservative, irreversible and short-time approaches for comprehensive management of TMJD. Any treatment that can cause a permanent change in the bite is hugely discouraged, as far as TMJ is concerned.