Crunchy splints are bite splints designed to protect the teeth from secondary damage during heavy teeth grinding. They are mostly transparent and are placed on the teeth of the lower jaw during the period of crunching. Crusher rails thus form a barrier between the upper and lower jaws and prevent the continuous abrasion of the enamel on the tooth surface.

Overview of this article

What is teeth grinding?

Teeth grinding (medical term: bruxism) is actually not a disease, but only a symptom that may be underlying a variety of diseases. In Germany, teeth grinding is a widespread problem. Up to 90 percent of the population has already cracked their teeth in the past or still does today. Mostly unconsciously, during sleep, it crunches, as the brain processes the stress of the past day during the relaxation phase.

In most cases, the unconscious teeth grinding will not be noticed until the teeth have already been visibly damaged. The high pressure built up between teeth during tooth grinding rubs the tooth surface and damages the tooth enamel. Once destroyed, the sensitive tooth is free and more susceptible to diseases such as tooth decay, pulpitis or periodontitis. The worst result of teeth grinding is complete tooth loss if the tooth breaks through lengthwise due to excessive pressure.

What are the causes of teeth grinding?

For bruxism, different causes may be responsible. Several international studies have shown that people who suffer from stress tend to grind their teeth. But there are also physical causes that can be responsible. These include, among others

  • Deformation of the teeth
  • incorrectly positioned crown or bridge
  • Damage to the temporomandibular joint (such as osteoarthritis) or
  • a craniomandibular dysfunction (a malposition of the entire jaw to the head).

It is often a lengthy process to find out the actual cause of teeth grinding.

Regardless of the causative disorder, the treatment of teeth grinding takes a long time. If the cause is mental, one should consider consulting a therapist specializing in the treatment of stress-related teeth grinding. If malpositions of the teeth or the jaw are the cause, a dentist or orthodontist must correct them.

Regardless of the actual cause of the teeth grinding, you should learn relaxation techniques for the entire body, because relaxed people crunch much less with their teeth.

What causes the crunching rail and how does it work?

What causes the crunching rail and how does it work?

The crunching bar also can not cure bruxism, but it does provide protection to the affected teeth. It is placed over the teeth of the lower jaw and thus forms a barrier between the teeth of the upper and lower jaw. The most commonly made of transparent plastic crunch bar is in the simplest case, a U-shaped rail, which is adapted to the human jaw. It fulfills its function as well as a crunching rail individually adapted to the tooth positions of the person concerned, but the fit and support is in most cases not optimal.

While the cost of a universal crunch bar is covered by the general health insurance, the patient has to bear the costs for an individual bite splint himself.

Before making a bite splint, have the dentist explain exactly what the costs are to you and clarify with the health insurance company (and any supplementary dental insurance) which costs will be covered by the dentist. Often you save yourself such a rude awakening when the bill comes.

How is a crunching bar made?

How is a crunching bar made?

If one has opted for a crunching rail, the expert creates an impression of the upper and lower jaw. This is relatively fast and without pain. In the dental laboratory, a 3D model of the jaw is made from this impression. The crunch bar is now individually adapted to the model, ensuring a perfect fit.

Depending on the quality of the splint and the strength of the teeth grinding, such a splint may last for several years before it needs to be replaced. Considering the cost of the consequential damage of teeth grinding, the money is often very well invested in a crunch bar.

What should be considered when carrying the crunch bar?

The crunch bar is a good solution to minimize the consequences of teeth grinding on tooth and periodontium. But since it does not address the real causes, it should not be considered a permanent solution, but only as a temporary therapy aid. It is important to research the causes of teeth grinding and treat them properly. Often this is a very lengthy process, but rewarded by healthy teeth.