Bite guard Dentist Charlotte NC North Carolina
Holistic Biological Biocompatible
In our Charlotte NC office we routinely make occlusal gaurds for our patients. An occlusal guard is also referred to as a bite guard, bite splint, night guard, night splint. Most dentists in the Charlotte North Carolina area also make occlusal guards for their patients. Bite guards are made of hard acrylic. There are different types of bite guard designs but they all aim to do the same thing, decrease or eliminate occluso-muscle disorder. This is accomplished by minimizing jaw muscle activity while they are worn. This will decrease stress on the intraoral structures, the muscles and the TMJs (jaw joints).
A correct professionally made bite guard is not just a “piece of plastic” that prevents the teeth from hitting each other. These “pieces of plastic” have subtle features built into the design to achieve minimal jaw muscle activity to decrease future joint and dental damage. As your teeth hit and slide on the guard, they occlude (contact) and disclude (not contact) on the guard a certain way to decrease muscle stress as much as possible.
Bite guards that are incorrectly made or inadequately maintained and store-purchased soft guards will cause the same types of damage as an unbalanced and traumatic bite. These types of guards lack the subtle but very important features that properly deactivate muscles to minimize stress on the oral structures. Because of this, I take great care to design bite guards correctly and absolutely do not recommend store-purchased soft bite guards.
Sometimes I have a new Charlotte NC patient present to my office and tell me that the soft guard has decreased jaw muscle pain that they were having. That can happen, but what they do not understand is that their TMJs (jaw joints) are quietly being damaged. As the jaw becomes damaged, it will negatively affect the bite which will cause more damage to the teeth and periodontium and ultimately make you unhealthier and spend more on dental treatment in the future.
Although I recommend and provide bite guards for my Charlotte NC area patients, they only protect the teeth and other jaw structures from damage at night while they are being worn. During the day damage from an inbalanced bite will continue. This is why we almost always recommend an occlusal (bite) adjustment, complete (ADA code D9952) to minimize stress and damage during the day as well.
There is one last, but very important, point about bite guards. Many people have sleep problems. They either snore severely or worse, have obstructive sleep apnea. It is imperative to determine if there is a sleep problem before making a night time bite guard. If there is there is a sleep problem then the bite guard will have to be designed to address the sleep problem.