Occlusal Guards

Fixing Bite, Jaw, and TMJ problems

Occlusal guards come in a wide variety of designs depending on your doctor’s recommendations. One type of occlusal splint is called a permissive splint. This type of splint may be placed on either the upper or lower teeth. The surface of a permissive splint is to help individuals with a poor bite; jaw problems and TMJ issues have more comfortable bites and less pain. The permissive splint allows the jaws to have a bite surface that works better than their natural bite surface and allows the jaw sockets to relax.

If a person has a sore tooth, the jaw works around the sore tooth to prevent pain. By doing this, the jaw becomes tired, and jaw muscles may spasm. For this situation, an occlusal splint prevents the back teeth from touching and allows the front teeth to touch a smooth surface. When this happens, the jaw muscles can relax, and pain is reduced. The occlusal splint works within hours or a couple of days to relax the jaws and give a person much less jaw pain.

High crowns and fillings also affect the way the jaw closes and may cause pain in the jaw joints. An occlusal device that fits over the front teeth prevents the tooth with the high filling from causing the jaw to move incorrectly and also prevents pain in the affected tooth. Nearly any type of bite interference can be treated with an occlusal splint to relieve joint and muscle pain in the jaws.

In many cases, the jaw alignment can be corrected, and the bite improved to relieve the jaw joint stress. Then the occlusal splint can be adjusted to keep the jaws relaxed and the bite healthy. Our dental staff can help analyze a person’s bite, provide them with the proper appliance to correct any bite problems, and substantially eliminate or reduce the amount of pain in the jaw joints and the number of headaches a person may experience.