Occlusal splints, or night guards, are used to protect the teeth. If you are a clencher or a grinder (bruxor), you may be wearing your teeth down prematurely. While the phenomenon can happen during the daytime, especially when you are under stress and anxiety, grinding the teeth occurs with more regularity during sleep. A night guard treats bruxism before permanent severe damage to the teeth and TMJ muscles and joints occurs. Clenching and grinding may cause headaches, pain in the facial, cranial, neck, shoulder, arms and back regions. A night guard can decrease these symptoms by shutting the muscle activity off allowing the overworked muscles to relax.
While it is possible to purchase over the counter mouth guards, the fit is not always perfect and may cause more damage the jaw joint or increase the grinding activity. A custom made night guard designed to fit your upper and lower teeth will not only protect the teeth but support the joints and muscles for healthy function for a lifetime.
Over time your night guard will wear down since the material is softer than your teeth. Due to this, your night guard will need to be replaced from time to time. A night guard can be one of the best investments you can make in the lifelong health of your mouth.