Splints and Night Guards
Many people ask us about long term protection of their teeth. One of the side effects of a busy lifestyle and stress of working, lead to a condition called nocturnal bruxism or “night grinding”. The pattern of grinding varies from individual to individual and can range from mild to severe. Some people have absolutely no symptoms whilst others can suffer from daily headaches, poor sleep and muscle stiffness in their face throughout the day. On examination we look for flat and worn teeth as well as signs of cracking and chipping in the back teeth.
If we see these signs, we may educate you about a night splint. There are many different types of these splints designed for different purposes. The aim of these splints is to limit muscle activity and decrease the stress on your jaw joint protecting your teeth for the long term and decreasing pain.
There are alternatives for night splints, as we know that some people cannot tolerate them. These range from rebuilding important teeth in your mouth to provide the same protection, to muscle relaxing injections given into the main muscles of the face.
Mouthguards are another important piece of equipment to protect your teeth for the long term. If you or your child is involved in contact sports, we have a range of custom mouthguards that we can fabricate. These mouthguards come in varying thickness depending on the level of contact that is expected and can also be internally reinforced. Mouthguards that we fabricate have been balanced with your bite. This is incredibly important if the lower jaw is hit as the resulting force is evenly distributed.
Custom mouthguards provide protection not only for the teeth, but can help prevent the incidence of concussion. During consultation we will establish the type and thickness of the mouthguard required, customised to the level of activity that you perform in your chosen sport.