For clients experiencing tooth wear due to nighttime grinding and jaw clenching, your dentist may recommend an occlusal appliance- commonly called a nightguard or bite splint- to help alleviate the complications associated with the condition. It is not uncommon for tooth wear to be associated with certain airway or breathing conditions, so your doctor may discuss this with you as well.
An occlusal appliance is a device that is worn in the mouth overnight and creates a barrier between your upper and lower teeth, eliminating the damage they cause by rubbing against each other. It also promotes improved jaw and bite alignment which can help address uneven tooth wear. Research has shown that a well-designed hard appliance will help to relax the musculature- reducing wear even when it is not being worn.
There are several designs and styles of appliances available to assist with treatment. Your doctor will expertly design your individualized appliance to ensure optimal bite alignment and maximum protection from additional tooth wear. Given the potential for costly dental treatments caused by untreated tooth wear, it is critical to work closely with your Doctor to proactively treat the issue before more damage is sustained.
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