20 Dec All About Occlusal Splints
If you have been diagnosed with TMD, or temporomandibular dysfunction, your dentist may have prescribed an occlusal splint to help relieve your symptoms. Untreated, TMD can cause popping and discomfort in the jaw, headaches, and ear pain. It can also lead to occlusal bite disease, which is defined by a bad bite posture that causes excessive and uneven wear in the teeth. Occlusal splints help, because they are designed to gently reposition the jaw to a more stable resting position, which encourages a healthier, more natural bite. To get a better idea of what you can expect from this common TMD treatment option, continue reading below.
Splints are custom fabricated by the dentist.
In order to ensure optimal comfort and effectiveness, your dentist will custom fabricate your occlusal splint using digital imaging to accurately measure your mouth. The splint will fit snugly over the lower jaw. It is unlike wearing a generic, store-bought mouth guard, since the device is designed specifically for your mouth.
Getting used to your splint may take time.
Your occlusal splint will provide an optimal bite, so it will quickly become more comfortable as you wear it. However, it may take some adjusting to get used to. If your splint is uncomfortable or painful, the dentist can make modifications to give the splint a more natural feel.