Guard/Occlusal Splint Therapy
What is bruxing?
is a medical term for grinding or gnashing of teeth.
do people grind, is it stress related?
are four accepted reasons for why patients grind their teeth:
a) It may
be due to an increase of stress, both physical and emotional.
b) It may be a side effect of antidepressant medication, serotonin
uptake blockers, such as prozac have been shown to trigger bruxing
in 25% of patients.
c) It may be due to tooth and joint discrepancies.
d) It may be due to a central nervous systems influence which appears
to be related more to sleep issues.
the appliance stop patients from grinding?
A3. Only if is related to tooth and joint discrepancies. If it is
related to any other cause, the answer is NO!
we use one of the "Off the shelf" appliances?
If our only concern is tooth wear, then anything you place between your
teeth will prevent tooth wear. However there are 3 other very important
benefits of wearing a night guard if you grind your teeth:
taking specific bite records the jaw can be centered into its proper
joint space thereby stabilizing the joint and reducing the potential
for breakdown. This is not possible with an "off the shelf"
By developing a very specific physiologic "bite", the back
teeth which can generate an average of 200 lbs. of force and up to1000
lbs. are eliminated from exerting such force by ensuring they are
apart once the patient grinds left/right or forward. This decreases
the effect on muscles, bone, joint and teeth 80-90%. The front teeth
can only generate approx. 40 - 50 lbs. of force when biting. This
cannot be achieved with "off the shelf" night guard or one
that is fabricated from two impressions without accurate and complete
bite registration. (Which is the usual protocol for most dental office
The final benefit is one of diagnostic value. How do we know for sure
we grind our teeth. This will be confirmed on the appliance which
will mark both the pattern of grinding and intensity of grinding.
This will then allow dentist and patient to make an informed decision
about how long to wear appliance and what the next logical step in
treatment would be.
free to ask us about any confusion or questions you might have. My staff
and I are more than happy to explain further.