Cleaning by means of ultrasound
Ultrasound is a particularly effective means for the lasting and thorough cleaning of bite splints. Meanwhile, ultrasonic baths are available for home use, with which splints and also prostheses can be cleaned and maintained daily. The splint is placed in the bath for about 3-5 minutes and the vibrations of the crystal inside remove the hardened deposits without damaging the plastic.
Depending on the degree of soiling, the splint can also remain in the ultrasonic bath for longer. The contained water should be changed daily. Ultrasound is also used as an efficient method in dental laboratories and by dentists.
What to do if the bite mark stinks?
A bite splint that is worn at night to prevent crunching can smell unpleasant in the morning after removal. The odour is caused by the microorganisms that remain in the oral cavity all night and produce gases. It is advisable to clean the splint directly with toothpaste and a toothbrush in the morning to remove the bacteria.
Also a daily bath for about 2 – 3 minutes in chlorhexidine digluconate (CHX) can prevent the bacteria deposits and disinfect the splint. These methods remove all deposits, as these are the main reason for the unpleasant smell. If this odour does not disappear despite all the measures taken, the causes should be clarified with the dentist treating the patient, if necessary, because inflammation of the periodontium, for example so-called periodontitis, also produces a distinct unpleasant bad breath which can be transferred to the splint.
Summary of the most important information
A bite splint or creak splint is a dental appliance used for the treatment of false and/or overloading of the teeth and jaw joints. It is used to harmonize the pressure loads during the interaction of jaw joints and masticatory muscles. A bite splint is particularly suitable for patients who suffer from nightly teeth grinding (technical term: bruxism) in stressful situations.
Wearing the bite splint reduces unphysiological tooth contact and prevents the teeth from rubbing and pressing against each other. Such unphysiological jaw movements (technical term: parafunctions) cause enormous pressure forces, which have an enormously negative influence on the individual structures of the masticatory organ. The use of the bite splint prevents damage to the hard tooth substance (especially the enamel), the periodontium, the jaw joints and the chewing muscles caused by the grinding of the teeth.
The consequences of incorrect or excessive strain are damages to the tooth, which promote the development of carious defects and cause inflammation in the area of the gums and the periodontium. In addition, the high loading pressures can cause tension in the chewing muscles, which can lead to muscle problems and severe headaches, among other things. Many affected patients also develop severe signs of wear and tear in the area of the jaw joints, which become apparent after a short time by cracking noises when chewing.
The bite splint is intended to release the lower jaw from its interlocking with the upper jaw in these patients. As a result, the lower jaw can take up a position which is independent of the regular bite. As a result, the chewing muscles can relax and the load on the temporomandibular joint is increasingly reduced.
The bite splint must be made of plastic in the dental laboratory. Its shape is exactly adapted to the individual dental arch of each patient. For this reason, an impression of the patient’s jaw has to be taken before fabricating the occlusal splint (impression).
Based on this impression, a model of the jaw will be cast in the laboratory, on which the occlusal splint will finally be fabricated. While still in the dental practice, a check is made to ensure that the appliance is correctly seated and that the edges of the splint do not exert pressure on the gums. An incorrectly fitted occlusal splint can provoke the gums (lat. gingiva), lead to injuries and/or trigger inflammatory processes.