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What is Occlusal Splint Therapy?

The jaw joint is a type of joint located just in front of the ear, which enables us to make our jaw movements. A great variety of symptoms, such as sound from the jaw joint heard during the opening and closing of the mouth, difficulty or restriction in the opening of the mouth, pain in the jaw and head-and-neck regions, and wear on the teeth surfaces may be the signs of a jaw clenching habit.

An occlusal splint is a removable appliance produced for the lower or upper jaw, which functions as a barrier between the teeth. This treatment is performed with intent to prevent excessive force applied on the jaw joint involuntarily due to the habit of jaw clenching, by allowing for a new closure that keeps a distance of 3-5 mm between the teeth. An occlusal splint is usually applied only during sleep at night; but depending on the patient’s complaints, the duration of use may also cover the whole day.