Treating Bruxism With Bite Splints (Grinding & Clenching of Teeth)

Bite Splint

What is a Bite Splint?

Teeth grinding or clenching is a big problem for many people everywhere. It’s often referred to simply as ‘bruxism.’ If you unknowingly grind your teeth during sleep, then you may have sleep bruxism and therefore may benefit from the assistance of a bite splint. There are also some people who grind their teeth while they’re fully alert and awake. They have a condition that’s called awake bruxism.

Bite splits can be immensely helpful to people who clench their teeth while they’re asleep. They have smooth interior surfaces that remain next to the gums and the teeth. These appliances’ exterior surfaces are tough, fully transparent and sturdy.

They can just as easily assist those who have TMJ disorders. These disorders negatively interfere with the joints and chewing muscles that serve as the pathways between skulls and lower jaws.

bite splint in hand

How Are They Made?

Bite splints are made using plastic. Dentists place them straight on top of the upper teeth. They enable the teeth to remain in their appropriate positions. These appliances can alter how the teeth bite when they merge. They, because of that, help minimise teeth wear.

People who have persistent teeth grinding and clenching patterns are usually prone to severe wear. These bruxism splints have textures that are markedly softer than those of natural teeth. That’s the reason they can be so effective in keeping grinding and clenching habits under control. These splints can also minimise jaw joint strain and pressure. They can minimise jaw muscle burden and even lessen pain. If you suffer from jaw muscle and joint aching, then a bite splint may be a smart solution for you.

What Are the Benefits Bruxism Splint?

Bite splints are given to patients for a variety of reasons. In fact, with proper use, a bite splint can:

  • Protect the teeth, porcelain veneers, and other dental restorations
  • Adjust the position of the jaw joint
  • Allow the jaw muscles to rest
  • Reduce teeth clenching and grinding
  • Improve airway space
  • Provide valuable diagnostic information regarding joint problems

Needless to say, there are plenty of benefits of wearing a bite splint. Generally, bite splints are used to simultaneously perform several, if not all, of the above functions.

By actively protecting your teeth or restorations, the right bite splint can minimise damage and pain while we diagnose the problems associated with your specific bite.

Since teeth clenching may be the result of your jaw trying to settle into the best resting position, a bite splint can also reduce your teeth clenching tendencies.

treatment for bite splint

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    Are There Different Types of Bite Splints?

    There are several different types of bite splints designed to accomplish several or all of these goals. Your dentist may select from many different designs depending on the specific reasons for your needing such a device

    types of bite splints

    Some of the different types of bite splints to treat bruxism include:

    1. Permissive Bite Splints

    Permissive bite splints are the most commonly prescribed. They are specifically designed to give your jaws the ability to move freely in relation to one another. These types of bite splints can be fitted to either the lower or upper teeth, and they are primarily prescribed to protect the teeth or restorations. However, they can also be used to provide helpful diagnostic information. Permissive bite splints have a smooth and fairly flat biting surface. When the jaw closes, the teeth that come into contact with it are able to freely slide against the surface, allowing the jaw muscles to close the jaw without deflective tooth inclines that prevent normal, pain-free muscle activity.

    2. Non-Permissive Bite Splints

    Unlike permissive bite splints, non-permissive bite splints are designed to restrict the movement of the jaws in relation to one another. In other words, they lock the upper and lower jaw into position, limiting their ability to slip into a position that will cause damage and pain.

    3. Directive Bite Splints

    Directive bite splints are less common and typically only used to help treat specific jaw joint structural disorders. The design of these splints allows them to direct the jaw joints into a specific socket position in order to enhance and expedite the healing process. Despite their effectiveness, directive bite splints must be used extremely cautiously and only after a thorough examination has been performed to determine the joint’s specific structural problem.

    4. Full and Partial Arch Bite Splints

    Full arch bite splints are made to completely fit seamlessly over the entire arch of the lower or upper teeth. Conversely, partial arch bite splints are designed to partially fit over the arch. As such, partial arch splints can be quite small and only fit between a few teeth.

    Call Us For Your Bite Splint

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    Are Bite Splints Difficult to Clean and Maintain?

    Cleaning a bite splint and keeping it hygienic isn’t difficult at all. In fact, it can be done with minimal time and effort. You can even clean a bite splint with a basic toothbrush.

    With proper basic care and maintenance, most bite splints can remain in fine working condition for up to five years.

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    Bite Splint FAQ

    Get all the answers about Bit Splits you need!

    perth bite splint dentist

    1. How Do I Know if I Need a Bite or Dental Splint?

    If you often wake up with your jaws aching or you’ve noticed a change in how you chew food, you should visit 123 Dental right away. Your dentist will check for signs of bruxism or teeth clenching, which include severely worn teeth. Many patients already show symptoms, such as broken or chipped teeth, which are very telling. During the initial assessment, you will also be asked questions, including whether you feel headaches or stress in your temple.
    From there, your 123 Dental dentist will tell you if you are a candidate for a dental or bite splint. Once determined, we recommend that you wear the appliance consistently to prevent the problem from getting worse.

    2. How Long Does It Take for the Bite Splint to Work?

    The results always vary from person to person and depending on the severity of the case. But an important factor that ensures a bite splint will work – as it should – has something to do with consistent use. If you wear the appliance regularly, you will typically find an improvement in your condition within six weeks or so.
    A noticeable change will often start by getting rid of symptoms like facial pain and headaches. In three months or so, you can expect to feel an optimal improvement, not just in the head and neck.

    3. How Long Do I Have to Wear a Bite Splint?

    The duration of the treatment will depend on your situation. Your dentist will tell you the amount of time you will need to wear the bite splint, whether all day or just at night. Wearing the bite splint for a short period usually does not help if you clench and grind your teeth while you sleep. Therefore, it is possible that you will need to wear it every day for at least four to six weeks.
    Most people find wearing bite splints uncomfortable. However, after a few weeks of use, you should be able to get into the habit of adding the appliance as part of your regular routine.

    4. When Should I Have a Dental Splint Replaced?

    A dental or bite splint is used every day (usually at night). You’re most likely on this treatment because you clench or grind your teeth when you sleep. The splint will protect your teeth by preventing them from coming in contact with one another. As a result, you will be biting down on the dental splint you’re wearing.
    Splints are made of strong material and designed to last for a long time. However, you should always get proper care and assistance by visiting 123 Dental. Your splint may not require replacement but may be readjusted. It’s a common occurrence if it doesn’t fit anymore or you have had a major dental treatment done since wearing the splint.

    5. Can A Splint Straighten My Teeth?

    Splints may not necessarily realign your teeth, but there are instances where they reposition your jaw. As a result, the mouth gets realigned into a better or more ideal position. When it comes to straightening teeth, however, it’s more complex. You probably already know you need braces or aligners to straighten teeth.
    Bite splints are not designed for aligning teeth, even if you have a very mild case of crowding. Although it is possible for the splint to cause changes in your teeth’s alignment, it will take several years for any difference to be noticeable.

    6. Do Splints Change a Person's Bite?

    Your bite is the way your upper and bottom teeth touch, particularly when you close your mouth. Normally, you sleep with your mouth closed, so that’s how teeth grinding can occur. Your dental splint will usually cover all your teeth. However, some dentists allow the use of partial coverage splints. If so, this splint will cover only your front or back teeth. It means that your teeth will continue to touch, specifically those areas that do not have the splint.
    123 Dental avoids the use of partial coverage as much as possible because of the risk of compressing the teeth. Regular use of such an appliance could lead to unwanted bite changes.

    7. Is It Difficult to Wear a Bite Splint?

    Many patients don’t feel any discomfort while wearing splints. However, the experience differs from person to person. Some can easily tolerate bite splints, while others find it difficult to add it to their routine. Splints may even make you gag. In addition, they can be bulky and strange, but we’re sure you can adjust to your dental splint pretty quickly.
    If you have any trouble wearing the appliance, please do not hesitate to contact 123 Dental. We’re always happy to help!