What are Dental Splints?

By Gunbarrel Dental Center
October 31, 2017
Category: Dental Procedures
Tags: Dental Splints   jaw pain   tmj  

Does your jaw hurt, or how about your teeth? Are they sensitive to pressure? These oral and facial discomforts, along with headaches and dental splintsother kinds of facial pain, may come from TMD, or Temporomandibular Joint Disorder, or even bruxism, an unconscious grinding and clenching of the teeth. Dr. Gerald Savory offers simple solutions to these chronic oral health problems by way of dental splints. At Gunbarrel Dental Center in Boulder, CO, your dentist will track down the source of your pain and offer a solution perfect for your unique needs.

TMD and bruxism

Dentistry Today magazine says that dental, or occlusal, splints worn while you sleep cushion the teeth, gums and jaw joints. They also help the dentist see where undue pressures are happening and allow tight jaw muscles to relax. In other words, dental splints are simple devices which do a lot to protect your teeth and help you feel better.

To determine the exact cause of your jaw pain or dental clenching, Dr. Savory performs a complete oral examination, looking at the chewing surfaces of your teeth and seeing how they bite together, or occlude. He also palpates, or feels, jaw joints at the sides of the face. The Temporomandibular Joint operates like a hinge, opening and closing your jaw. It has a disc-like cushion which often become inflamed due to overuse, stress or poor position. Arthritis commonly affects the jaw joint, too.

Also, Dr. Savory takes digital X-rays to get a good view of the underlying bone structure and tooth roots. Often, he recommends simple interventions to ease the effects of bruxism and TMD. They include:

  • Relaxation and stretching exercises
  • Ice packs to the affected areas
  • A soft diet

More aggressive therapies include dental crowns to even bite and orthodontic therapy. However, a mid-way approach to correcting jaw issues and teeth clenching is the dental splint. Custom-made from acrylic according to oral impressions, a dental splint allows the muscles of the jaw to relax by simply re-positioning it. Splints also stabilize the movement of the lower jaw as it tends to move up, down and side to side. Less movement at night relieves some of the wear and tear and muscle fatigue that TMD and bruxism sufferers experience. So the dental splint is a simple and elegant solution to a truly taxing oral health problem.

Find some relief 

A custom-made acrylic dental splint could be your solution to chronic facial, dental and jaw pain. Learn more in a consultation with Dr. Savory at Gunbarrel Dental Center in Boulder, CO. Call today for an appointment: (303) 530-4145.