What are occlusal splints, and what are they used for?

Occlusal splints (also referred to as night guards) are used to treat a wide range of dental conditions, depending on the style of the guard. One of the most common uses for occlusal splints at Queen Anne Dental is to address and treat the problem of teeth grinding and clenching.

There are different types of night guards available, but the objective with any of these is to provide relief by repositioning your jaw slightly forward. This prevents your back teeth from touching, so that you cannot grind or clench. The purpose of the splint is to protect your teeth from the wear and damage caused by clenching and grinding, and to relieve tension on the muscles in your jaw.

It is important to treat teeth grinding and clenching because, without treatment, it can lead to TMJ (temporomandibular joint disorder), a condition that affects the joint where your lower jaw meets your skull. The night guard is designed to reduce the tension placed on your jaw joint, in turn reducing inflammation and pain.

Teeth grinding and clenching can also lead to migraines, so wearing an occlusal guard can also provide relief from this type of chronic, painful headache.

At our Queen Anne Dental office, Dr. Goel will create a customized occlusal splint that is made to fit your mouth perfectly to provide the desired results. Please contact our office so that we can arrange an evaluation and make appropriate recommendations.