Occlusal guards, also commonly referred to as night guards, occlusal splints, or simply bite splints, are specialized orthotic devices that are designed to prevent the mouth from clenching and grinding teeth at night (bruxism), and to alleviate the pain, damage and discomfort that come as a result.
When someone wears a mouth guard overnight, their teeth are protected by the clear, acrylic resin which has been molded to perfectly cover the teeth. This material works to prevent damage such as chipping or scratching of teeth, as well as the physical pain that typically accompanies the grinding and clenching.
There are a few warning signs that may indicate you are a strong candidate for using a mouth guard. Below are just some of the symptoms to keep an eye out for:
- Consistently getting headaches in the morning.
- Awakening with mild or significant tooth pain.
- Experiencing sore or sensitive jaw muscle and face pain.
- Feeling that you have not gotten a full night’s sleep, even when you go to sleep and wake up at normal times.
Having these symptoms does not necessarily mean that you definitely need to start using an occlusal night guard. That being said, if you do find that you are regularly experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is a good idea to consult your Island Dental Associatesl dentist to determine whether some type of mouth guard might be worth using to alleviate discomfort or tooth scraping or chipping.
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