Occlusal disease is marked by excessive wear/flattening of the biting surfaces of teeth or deep notching out at the gum line of teeth. The condition is caused by nighttime tooth grinding and/or clenching. Untreated, it will put the integrity of the affected teeth at risk and can lead to nerve involvement, tooth fracture, and tooth loss. The condition is slowly progressing that is oftentimes not recognized until it is in the advanced stages.
- worn biting surfaces of some or all teeth
- shortening of the edges of the front teeth
- notching out of some or all teeth at the gum line
- tooth sensitivity to hot/cold or biting sensitivity
- cracked teeth
- loose teeth
- muscle or TMJ joint discomfort
- oftentimes no symptoms and patients are unaware of the condition
Occlusal guards also called occlusal splints, bite planes, or night guards are custom made laboratory-fabricated hard acrylic appliances that are worn at nighttime. These are patient specific appliances that are fitted for the patient that protects the biting surfaces of teeth or dental restorations. They should not be made with soft/nightguard/athletic mouthpiece materials.