Do you suffer from aching teeth and jaws in your waking hours? This could be due unconscious teeth grinding during your sleep….
An Occlusal Splint (also called a bite splint, bite plane, or night guard) is a removable dental appliances carefully molded to fit the upper or lower arches of teeth worn at night to reduce the amount of grinding pressure transferred to the teeth. It offers relief for the muscles of the jaw and protection of the teeth from wear and breakage.
Teeth grinding and clenching also known as Bruxism generally occurs during sleep and can often go undetected. Bruxism is generally caused by psychological stress, anxiety and tension in your waking life. Bruxism causes chips in the teeth, wear of the biting surface and cracks in the teeth. This wears down tooth enamel, removes the sharp biting surfaces and flattens the edges of the teeth. Sometimes there is a tendency to grind the molars together, often a partner or family member is first to notice the sufferers condition due to this noise associated with this grinding throughout the night. Bruxism is one of the worlds most common sleep disorders. Over a period of time, tooth damage will occur and may also cause tooth loss. If enough enamel has been worn, the softer dentine will be exposed. This also leaves you at greater risk of tooth decay and also tooth fracture and in some people, gum recession. Early intervention is advisable.
Symptoms of teeth clenching and grinding can include:
- Aching jaws and teeth, during waking hours
- Trouble chewing on food
- Tension headaches and stress in the temple region
- Jaw joint (temporomandibular joint) pain
- severely worn teeth
- Broken or chipped teeth
Treatment may involve wearing an occlusal splint over night to prevent the teeth in the upper and lower arches from making contact. Alternatively neuromuscular treatment may be required to relax and retrain jaw muscles to rest and function as normal.
Occlusal Splints are straightforward to make: impression paste is used to make models of your teeth, and our technician builds the Splint based on information about your bite that your dentist will provide.
Occlusal Splints may take a little getting used to, but most people find that within a night or two they are completely comfortable wearing their Splint. It is best not to eat or drink with a Splint in place, but most people find that conversation is possible.