Dr. Hunyh of Eastport Dental offers a variety of oral appliances such as mouth guards and bite splints to meet the individual needs of his patients. Although very similar, these appliances serve different purposes.
If you suffer from frequent headaches, sensitive teeth, worn teeth, fatigued facial muscles, or snoring when you sleep, you may need a mouth guard or bite splint. Our Mesa, Arizona office can help you select the right oral appliance for your circumstances and needs.
What Is The Difference Between And Mouth Guard And A Bite Splint?
A custom-made mouth guard is made of durable hard plastic designed to fit over your teeth and gums. They are typically made to be worn over the top teeth and provide a layer of protection as well as cushion to your teeth and TMJ joint.
A bite split is similar to a guard in the fact that it is also made of a hard, durable plastic material and is custom-made to fit only your mouth. A splint joins the upper and lower teeth to provide more stability to the TMJ joint.
Because of the high-quality materials and custom design of both mouth guards and bite splits, they are both very comfortable and nonirritating to the gums. They protect the teeth from not only everyday wear and tear but damage from trauma due to sports injuries, clinching and grinding, and also allow for better sleep and prevention of snoring.
If you suffer from any of these symptoms, contact the dental professionals of Eastport Dental to discuss the possibility of a mouth guard or splint.
Bruxism (Clenching and Grinding)
Teeth naturally grind across one another during the process of chewing. But grinding your teeth side to side or front to back when not eating out of stress or because of sleep apnea is not healthy. This habit is called bruxism and causes unnecessary wear and tear to your teeth and TMJ joint. Teeth will eventually appear worn or flattened. It can also break or crack existing dental work.
Untreated bruxism can lead to fractures in tooth structure, TMJ pain, broken fillings, and failure of dental implants. Wearing a custom-made dental mouth guard or bite splint will provide protection and prevent further damage from bruxism.
Clinching your teeth is another common habit that can cause excessive wear and damage to your teeth. While most clinching occurs during the sleeping hours, oftentimes you will notice your teeth are tight together while awake. It might also happen when you’re focused on a work project or driving your car.
When at rest, your teeth should be slightly apart with your tongue resting at the top of your mouth. Keeping your teeth together puts nonstop force on your enamel and is considered clinching. Over time, this force damages the TMJ joint and your teeth.
Patients that clinch their teeth will experience frequent headaches, fatigued facial muscles, popping, and even pain in the TMJ or their ears. Wearing a splint will provide not only protection but also give stability within the TMJ joint.
Snoring and Sleep Apnea
Oral sleep appliances are often used to correct snoring. Not only does snoring affect the sleep of those around you. Your snoring limits the amount of oxygen reaching your brain and blood vessels.
Snoring sometimes occurs when the jaw slides open and back, partially closing your airway. Inadequate oxygen intake can lead to many health problems. The use of a custom-made mouth appliance, often called a snore guard, prevents the jaw from sliding back and maintains an open airway. Your quality of sleep will improve and you will wake feeling more rested.
Sleep apnea and snoring are closely related. Studies have shown that wearing a bite splint to sleep can prevent some patients from needing to use a CPAP machine.
Custom Made Sports Mouth Guards
Over-the-counter sports guards are recommended for most sports, but Dr. Huynh of Eastport Dental offers custom-fit sports guards made in the office of high-quality, long-lasting materials. Custom-made guards allow for a better, more comfortable way of protecting the teeth from injury during sports. Because they are more comfortable and secure than over-the-counter versions, your athlete is much more likely to wear them and have better protection for the teeth.
Bite Splints in Mesa, AZ
Your dental health is an investment in your overall health. With the use of one of these oral appliances, you can ensure your teeth are protected from excessive wear, reduce your risk of fracture, prevent damage to the TMJ and insure you have adequate oxygen intake. Let Dr. Hunyh of Eastport Dental in Mesa help you decide which oral appliance is right for you!