The bite splint is used to treat diseases of the masticatory system. It is made of plastic and is adjusted by the dentist to compensate for malpositioned teeth or to prevent damage caused by unconscious nightly grinding. The splint cannot heal these diseases, but only eliminate the consequences.
The occlusal splint, also known as a relaxation splint or crunching splint, is usually the first choice for temporomandibular joint problems. It is relatively thin, transparent and made of plastic. Either it is placed on the teeth in the upper jaw and on the teeth in the lower jaw, in which case a fabrication for the lower jaw is done more often.
It is inserted shortly before going to sleep, sometimes there are also splints that have to be worn during the day, but then exceed the function of a normal bite splint. Their function is to prevent the teeth from being unconsciously pressed together at night and to prevent movements from being made. The resulting force is diverted to the plastic splint and does not put any further strain on the teeth.
The temporomandibular joint remains in a comfortable position and is not pathologically stressed. Bones, joints and muscles can relax, stiffness is released and excessive stress is avoided. Continued overloading not only causes problems with the temporomandibular joint, but also with the tooth and periodontal apparatus.
If, for example, there is craniomandibular dysfunction, the benefit of the splint is that the chewing muscles and the joint can relax and are not subjected to constant incorrect loading. It also supports the decompression of the temporomandibular joints. A pure physiological temporomandibular joint movement is the goal to be achieved.
In the long term, bruxism is prevented and a harmonious interaction between teeth, temporomandibular joints and muscles is achieved again. Further damage to the temporomandibular joint can thus be prevented and current complaints alleviated. The earlier you start using splint therapy at the first signs, the better the chances of success.