Night Guards (Bite Splints)

By mary / October 8, 2016

A night guard is a custom made appliance that fits the upper teeth and is worn at night to protect the teeth muscles and joints.

A night guard is a custom made appliance that fits the upper teeth and is worn at night to protect the teeth muscles and joints. It is indicated for patients that have nocturnal bruxism (night grinding).

Patients with Bruxism, clench, and grind their teeth while sleeping. It is considered a sleep disorder and is not able to be controlled voluntarily. Bruxism is often related to stress and it occurs occasionally. Heavy grinding occurs for minutes at a time with extreme muscle activity and jaw pressure. Only 20% of people who grind at night can actually make audible sounds.

Bruxism can destroy the enamel and expose the dentine which is softer. This dentine wears faster and promotes more tooth loss due to bite pressure and exposure to acids in the diet or stomach acids over time.

About the author

mary

Mary Mowbray is a registered dental hygienist, innovator and educator in the area of oral health, widely respected among her peers both here and overseas. Mary is also the Chief executive of the Institute of Dental Hygiene (the Institute is set up to ensure the professional development of dental hygiene in New Zealand).