This device is commonly used by people who suffer from bruxism, or excessive nighttime tooth grinding or clenching. This grinding and clenching puts pressure on the jaw, which can cause temporomandibular joint (TMJ) problems, severe headaches, ear pain, and neck pain as well as causing excessive wear to the teeth.
Thin, transparent, and horseshoe-shaped, dental night guards are created from hard but moldable plastics. The night guard fits over either the upper or the lower teeth, creating a cushion between them and absorbing the impact of the grinding or clenching. Night guards can help reduce enamel damage, jaw joint inflammation, and irritation to the gums.
How Night Guards Help
Overall, most night guard wearers report they have less pain and sleep better.
In order to be truly effective, night guards need to be custom-made for each individual. It typically takes two appointments to receive a night guard. During the initial visit, we take a bite record and make an impression of your teeth. These will be used to create a customised night guard that allows for proper teeth alignment. During the second appointment, we give you a test run and make the necessary adjustments.
Care of Night Guards
Night guards can last up to ten years if they are given proper care. Night guards should always be rinsed just before and just after wearing, and they need to be brushed with a soft toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste or denture cleaner once a day. They should also be soaked in denture cleaner once a week to keep them clean and fresh.
The term “dental splint” is used to refer to several types of orthodontic devices which are designed to address dental problems such as loose teeth and bruxism.
Dental splinting, used to treat loose teeth, involves joining teeth together. The splint stabilizes teeth so that they are less likely to move, which can weaken the teeth and cause them to fall out. Splinting may be used for temporary stabilisation of loose teeth, or to address ongoing issues; it is important to address the underlying cause of the looseness, as a dental splint cannot resolve a dental problem.
For people with TMJ and bruxism, a dental splint is used to protect the teeth from damage at night. The hard splint is worn like a mouthguard fitted over the top or bottom teeth, depending on your needs.
Snoring and sleep apnea can also sometimes be addressed with the use of a dental splint. A properly fitted splint can keep the airway clear, reducing breathing problems at night.
Care of Splints
Like other types of devices worn in the mouth, a dental splint must receive proper care. Dirty splints can spread infection, which can be a serious problem for the patient, and splints which are not stored and handled properly may deform, which can put stress on the teeth and jaw. Care directions and a case for storing the splint when it is not in use are usually provided by the dentist who fits the splint. The dentist may recommend follow up visits to confirm that the splint fits properly and is in good condition.
Patients who experience problems such as dental pain while wearing a dental splint should report these problems to their dentists. For more information please contact our office on 1300 32 TEETH.