Occlusal Splint (Orthotic Device)
Bruxism can be frequent and severe enough to lead to jaw joints disorders (TMD), headaches, damaged teeth and other problems. Because you may have sleep bruxism and be unaware of it until complications develop, it’s important to know the signs and symptoms of bruxism and to seek regular dental care.
As bruxism causes the upper and lower teeth to wear against each other it leads to gradual shortening and chipping of the biting surfaces of your back teeth and the edges of your front teeth. This is a process called attrition and can cause sensitivity, fractures and affect the appearance of your teeth. The pressure of the upper and lower teeth can also lead to a process called “abfraction”. Abfraction is where the enamel adjacent to your gums “flakes away” due to the pressure and flexing forces placed on your teeth when grinding, and causes notches that may be shallow and or sometimes very deep forming along your gumline (as seen in the video below). For a long time these notches were thought to be caused by over zealous tooth brushing, however, we now know that most of these are caused by bruxism. These notches can become very sensitive to cold, acids and sweet or if inadequately cleaned, decay can occur.Bruxism can also lead to strain and injury to the jaw joint (TMJ joint) and associated muscles. This can lead to pain, clicking or locking of the joint or muscular headaches. If you notice that you or your family member is grinding teeth — or has other signs or symptoms of bruxism — be sure to mention it at your next dental appointment.
The purpose of a splint is to absorb the destructive forces of bruxism and to provide something to wear down other than your teeth. As such your splint will wear down, chip and may eventually break after years of grinding on it. When this occurs, your splint will need to be replaced.
In cases of severe bruxism in addition to an occlusal splint to protect your teeth, treatment by a physiotherapist may be necessary to address any muscular pain and to provide exercises to strengthen and protect your jaw joint.
Seablue Dental Office FAQ
Everyone’s needs are different, so have a chat to your dentist about how often you need to have your teeth checked by them based on the condition of your mouth, teeth and gums. It’s recommended that children see their dentist at least once a year.
Regular checkups keep you updated with your oral health and help diagnose and timely treatment of any problems developing in your tooth or gums or oral tissues.
You dentist will conduct an exam and x-rays at your dental visits and educate you about your oral health.
Regular brushing and flossing after every meal should keep the food particles from depositing in crevices of your tooth and hence keeps the harmful bacteria causing the tooth decay in check.
If there is a medical emergency or life threatening condition, call 911 or go to nearest ER.
Sometimes. Contact us for a consultation.