Q.What is an Occlusal Splint?
An occlusal splint, which is also known as a night guard, is an option for someone with a habit of mild to severe teeth grinding. It is worn at night and made from molded bi-laminar sheet that fits over the upper or lower teeth. It is worn to prevent further wear of the teeth and tooth surfaces. An occlusal splint is custom made to suit each person’s bite to increase its comfort and effectiveness.
Q. Who needs an occlusal splint?
A combination of physical and psychological factors like stress, anxiety and tension leads to the habit of excessive clenching or grinding, also known as ‘bruxism’, of the teeth that is not part of normal chewing movements. It can lead to excessive wear of the teeth and may cause permanent damage to the teeth and jaw joints.
Q. What are the signs and symptoms of Bruxism?
The variation in signs and symptoms reflects the strength of clenching and grinding involved in bruxism. These can vary according to the nature, frequency, duration of excessive bruxing.
- Pain in the teeth and sensitivity to heat and cold due to loss of enamel
- The sound of grinding noticed by partners, friends or family
- Stiffness and pain in the jaw joint muscles which can cause restricted opening and difficult chewing
- Chronic facial pain with tension headaches, caused by intense muscle contraction
- Flattened and worn tooth surfaces, which may reveal the underlying yellow dentine layer
- Micro-fractures of the tooth enamel causing abfraction lesions
- Broken or chipped teeth/restorations
- Loose teeth with possible damage to tooth sockets
- Ear ache or pain in the jaw joint
Note: The aim of this general information is to educate the reader about Occlusal Splints and may not essentially contain all aspects of the treatment. It would be beneficial to see us for a consultation to discuss the procedure and all of the associated complications.
Give us a call on (03) 5821 2388 to book an appointment and our dentist will be more than happy to answer all of your concerns.