Do you need a bite splint?
Some individuals clench and grind their teeth. This condition is called bruxism and it occurs mostly at night. Whereas individuals who do not brux may experience tooth to tooth contact by swallowing for up to 30 minutes per night, bruxists make prolonged tooth contact for several hours per night. This does result in trauma to the teeth and jaw joints and results in progressive damage to the teeth resulting in cracks, chips, and tooth wear. There can also be degenerative changes to the jaw joints which may result in joint clicks, sticking locking, and limitation of opening not to mention joint and muscle pain. Some individuals will experience no pain or discomfort of the jaws, but there will still be progressive damage to the teeth and joints.
The problem arises when the front teeth become excessively worn. Contact across the front teeth “navigates” the jaw to achieve a smoothe slide from side to side and forwards. Without the full shape contour of the front teeth, the back teeth may come into contact, and clang and chatter during the jaw movements. This will result in broken teeth at the back of the mouth especially those that are heavily filled. This can also result in jaw muscle discomfort and pain.
This is when a bite splint is essential to protect the mouth from further break-down. A bite splint is made up of a dense plastic and this separates the teeth from unfavourable