Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

Occlusal Splints: An Effective Solution for Teeth Grinding and Jaw Pain

occlusal splint guides

If you suffer from bruxism, grind your teeth at night while sleeping. Or are experiencing temporomandibular dysfunction (TMD), you might be in need of an occlusal splint.

An occlusal splint or bite splint is a custom-made hard acrylic device that fits over the occlusal and incisal surfaces of the upper and lower teeth. These dental devices particularly designed to worn at night. These non-permissive splints have indentations that limit the movement of the mandible.

In this way, an occlusal splint guides the jaw into a neutral position, relieving some of the tension on the jaw joint and effectively protecting your teeth against the damaging forces of bruxism. In this way, they can help ease muscle pressure and stabilize your jaw..

How Occlusal Splints Work?

An occlusal splint works by opening the jaw and creating increased vertical height, which helps to put the jaw in a more neutral position. These bite splints also help to guide the jaw as it moves. As a result, this reduces strain on the muscles and prevents the jaw muscles from overloading.

In addition to that, bite splints also allow muscles in spasm to relax, protect oral structures from the damaging effects of bruxism, and normalize periodontal ligament proprioception.

However, these occlusal splints should worn regularly while sleeping. Within six weeks of use, significant improvement can see. It will alleviate various symptoms such as neck aches, facial pain, headaches, and orofacial issues. By six months, optimal improvement will experienced in even difficult-to-treat mouth structures.

Benefits Of Occlusal Splints

People usually brux or grind their teeth when they are asleep. These teeth-clenching or grinding habits cause disturbance to their sleep patterns.

In most cases, bruxism does not lead to severe complications. But persistent bruxism habits can result in serious damage to your teeth, restorations, crowns or jaw and cause tension-type headaches. Therefore, bite splints usually suggested to eliminate all these issues. 

  1. Prevent Teeth Damage

Consistent habits of teeth grinding can exert adverse effects on your oral health. Moreover, this condition happens while a person is asleep, so one can have no control over the grinding habits. Therefore bite splints required as they help you get rid of this habit by keeping your maxillary and mandible teeth apart as you sleep.

In short, a bite splint acts as a shock absorber that equally distributes the stress on the teeth to other oral structures. Furthermore, a properly customized bite splint appliance is more than just a nightguard, as it can impart various additional benefits to your oral health.

  • Reduce Headaches

Headaches are one of the most common and recurring symptoms of bruxism. If you clench your teeth while sleeping, you will most likely suffer from persistent headaches. But you don’t need to worry, as these occlusal splints are here for your rescue. 

These dental appliances work to effectively minimize these disruptive habits, thereby reducing the risk of you waking up with headaches.

They form a custom-fit cushion that protects your teeth from rubbing against each other while you sleep. This way, the reduced pressure and tooth protection helps you get relief from persistent headaches.

  • Promote Healthier Sleep Patterns

Bruxism is indeed a destructive habit, but with the help of an occlusal splint, you can undoubtedly stop it and get a healthier sleep at night.

These oral appliances sit over your teeth to protect them from grinding or clenching, also reduce jaw tension and promote healthy sleep patterns by aligning your jaw in the correct position.

  • Stop Snoring

Snoring usually proves to be more troublesome for your partner than for you, but with the help of occlusal splints, you can get rid of this problem. An occlusal splint will keep your upper and lower jaw separated. 

When your jaw is apart, it will create more space and increase the amount of air you breathe. This increased air will certainly help improve your breathing and minimize snoring habits.

  • They Enable You To Save Money

Splint therapy is an approach that, if initiated early, can provide patients with the best long-term care, saving them from expensive and complicated oral procedures. In this way, these dental devices prove to be very beneficial in helping you save money in the future.

Which Type Of Splint Should Be Used For Different Oral Issues?

The type of splint suggested typically depends on the diagnosis and evolutionary state of the oral condition. Dental history and comprehensive examinations also required for patients, especially those with bruxism, facial pain. Who are suffering from temporomandibular disorders.

  1. Splints For Temporomandibular Disorders

Stabilization splints generally recommended for patients suffering from mild to severe temporomandibular joint disorders. They provide long-term wear that is actually needed.

These dental devices cover the entire dental arch, ensuring the stabilization of covered teeth. However, this treatment choice must balanced to accommodate every patient’s specific needs.

These types of splints usually needed to be worn for 6 months to 2 years, depending on the patient’s condition. TMJ disorders are usually not reversible, but with the right treatment plan, patients can experience significant amelioration of their symptoms.

  • Splints For Muscular Hyperactivity

Bite plane splints typically suggested for patients when muscle disorder suspected. Muscle disorders generally instigated by hyper occlusion issues; these bite planes separate the teeth, allowing the muscles to relax.

  • Splints For Bruxism And Malocclusions

If patients report bruxism and consistent headaches. They are not associated with the temporomandibular disorder.

Then in such cases, a full-coverage splint, covering an entire tooth’s arch, can prove to be useful. Muscle relaxation is an added benefit of these splints that often helps eliminate tension headaches.

How Often Should Splints Be Adjusted?

A recent study has demonstrated that substantial changes in splint indentations were observed within 2 weeks of installation in almost 60% of people. This suggests that patients are needed to visit their dental professionals for a proper fitting before that time period.

Furthermore, occlusal splints should constantly assessed and adjusted in order to maintain balanced contact in all teeth.

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