What is Bruxism?
Bruxism can be described as the habit of clenching or grinding the teeth. When bruxism is mild and occasional, it is not usually a cause for concern. Some people, for instance, clench their teeth when concentrating on a hobby or task, or at times of increased stress and tension. Some people grind their teeth while asleep and the noise may disturb a sleeping partner. Bruxism that is vigorous and frequent can cause significant tooth wear and jaw joint problems.
A Night Guard or ‘Occlusal Splint’ can be used to treat and help prevent the damage caused by Bruxism. This is a removable appliance that covers the biting surfaces of all the top teeth and is worn at night.
The occlusal splint helps in two ways, firstly relaxing the jaw muscles by increasing the distance between the teeth and protecting teeth from further wear by providing multiple, even and light tooth contacts.
The splint needs to be measured and fifitted accurately so that when you close your jaw, all the teeth meet at the same time in a position where your jaw muscles are relaxed. This takes the pressure off the jaw joints and should
relieve symptoms. The treatment has a high success rate and most people will notice an improvement