Bite Splint Therapy
A bite splint is a hard plastic wafer designed to fit over the upper or lower teeth. It helps with TMJ problems and muscle tension.
How Can it Help You?
The purpose of the bite splint is to change the way your teeth bite together. It will reduce the wear on your teeth if you have a tendency to clench or a grind. Because it is softer than your teeth it will wear in preference to them.
A bite splint also decreases the pressure in the jaw joints or TMJ (temporomandibular joints), reduces the load on the jaw muscles and helps to reduce pain from the jaw joints and the muscles that move your jaws.
Wearing Your Bite Splint
When you first wear the bite splint it will feel unusual in your mouth, particularly for the first few nights. Don’t be concerned as you will quickly become used to it. It may take a week or so to notice a difference in your symptoms so it is important to use the bite splint continually for at least 6 weeks.
Subsequent use is usually tailored to your presenting symptoms and response to therapy. You should wear your splint at night when you go to bed (unless advised otherwise) as this is when most grinding and clenching occurs. If improvement is demonstrated, with time, you may consider wearing your splint on alternate nights. If your bite splint is not worn for a long period (weeks to months) it may feel a little tight or not fit your mouth at all. Try wearing the splint for a few consecutive nights to allow it to fit comfortably in your mouth. You will need to have the splint checked on a regular basis. Please don’t forget to bring your bite splint to these appointments.