Do you wake up with a sore jaw or headaches? Do your teeth feel sensitive or worn down? You may be suffering from bruxism, a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth while you sleep. Fortunately, there’s a simple and effective solution to help alleviate the symptoms of bruxism: wearing an occlusal splint.
What is Bruxism?
Bruxism is a common condition that affects millions of people around the world. It can be caused by stress and anxiety, misaligned teeth, or sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Bruxism often occurs unconsciously during sleep, and can lead to a range of symptoms such as:
- Jaw pain
- Tooth sensitivity
- Worn-down teeth
- Chipped or cracked teeth
If left untreated, bruxism can cause serious damage to your teeth and jaw, and may even require extensive dental treatment.
What is an Occlusal Splint?
An occlusal splint, also known as a night guard, is a custom-made dental appliance that fits over your teeth and is worn while you sleep. It’s designed to protect your teeth from the damaging effects of bruxism by cushioning your teeth and preventing them from grinding together. The splint is made from a hard plastic material that’s durable and comfortable to wear.
How Can an Occlusal Splint Help?
Wearing an occlusal splint can help alleviate the symptoms of bruxism and prevent further damage to your teeth and jaw. Here are some of the benefits of wearing an occlusal splint:
- Protects your teeth – An occlusal splint provides a barrier between your teeth, preventing them from grinding together and causing wear and tear.
- Reduces pain – The splint helps to distribute the forces of grinding and clenching evenly, reducing the strain on your jaw muscles and reducing pain.
- Improves sleep quality – Bruxism can interfere with your sleep, causing you to wake up feeling tired and irritable. Wearing an occlusal splint can help you get a better night’s sleep by reducing the symptoms of bruxism.
- Saves money – If left untreated, bruxism can cause serious damage to your teeth that may require costly dental treatment. Wearing an occlusal splint can help prevent this damage and save you money in the long run.
Digital Scanning for Occlusal Splints
Traditionally, making an occlusal splint involved taking messy impressions of your teeth using dental putty. However, with advancements in dental technology, digital scanning can now be used to create accurate 3D images of your teeth without the need for messy impressions.
Using an intraoral scanner, your dentist can create a detailed digital model of your teeth in just a few minutes. This model can then be used to design and manufacture your custom occlusal splint using computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology. The result is a precise, comfortable, and effective occlusal splint that’s made to fit your unique teeth and bite.
If you think you may be suffering from bruxism, don’t wait to seek treatment. Contact our office today to schedule an appointment and learn more about how wearing an occlusal splint can help alleviate your symptoms and protect your teeth and jaw, and how digital scanning technology can make the process easier and more comfortable for you.