An Occlusal Splint (also called a bite splint, or night guard) is a removable dental appliance carefully moulded to fit the upper or lower teeth. It is usually worn at night to reduce the amount of grinding pressure transferred to the teeth. It also offers relief for the muscles of the jaw especially around the TMJ as well as providing protection of the disc within the jaw joint.
Teeth grinding and clenching also known as Bruxism, is one major cause of TMD. It often occurs during sleep and can often go undetected. Bruxism may cause chipping of the teeth, wearing of the biting surfaces and cracks in the teeth. Often a partner or family member is first to notice the sufferers condition due to the noise associated with this grinding at certain times during the night. Early intervention is advisable.
Symptoms of teeth clenching and grinding can include:
Occlusal Splints may take a little getting used to, but most people find that within a few nights they become comfortable wearing the Splint.