Frequently Asked Questions – Splints
In most cases, an occlusal splint is used in cases where the patient suffers from clenching and/or grinding of the teeth often resulting in TMJ (Jaw joint) issues and/or damage to your teeth.
Splints are designed to discourage hyperactive muscle activity which can result in damage to the jaw joint and teeth. As such, it may take some time to adjust to your new appliance.
In most cases, you will be instructed to wear your splint while you are sleeping. Your dentist will advise if you require any daytime wear. Initially, you may develop an increased saliva flow during use, which is only temporary as the body adjusts to having something foreign in the mouth that it doesn’t recognize as food. While you are getting used to the splint, you may find that it comes out during the night which is not unusual, it may take up to two weeks to get used to the appliance.
When you remove the splint in the morning, it is not unusual for the teeth to feel as though they do not bite together as per usual. This is due to the corrected muscle movement of the jaw joint during use as well as a result of the splint material sitting between your upper and lower teeth for a prolonged length of time.
Please bring your splint to ALL dental appointments for necessary adjustments and review.
How to care for your splint:
- Upon removal, rinse in cold water and scrub with a wet, soft toothbrush for 30 seconds.
- Soak in denture cleaning tablets to maintain the integrity of your splint, when required.
- Do not use abrasive toothpastes on the splint.
- Do not use hot water on the splint.
- Keep in a safe, dry place away from pets and direct sunlight.
- Store splint in its case, avoid storing in tissues as it can easily be mistaken for rubbish.
You might initially experience some jaw pain and tenderness with wearing your splint, which is completely normal and should ease quickly