Occlusal splint, also known as a bite splint, is a dental tool worn in the mouth to prevent teeth grinding. There are two types of occlusal splints: soft and hard. When using a soft occlusal splint for an extended period, it may tear or become damaged. As for the hard occlusal splint, it may require adjustments by a dentist after a certain period of use. It is recommended to have the occlusal splint checked and adjusted by a dentist every 6 months.
For patients who experience mild to moderate levels of sleep apnea or are unable to use a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine due to severe symptoms, they should use an oral appliance while sleeping every night. The appliance helps advance the lower jaw and base of the tongue forward, thus opening up the airway passage in the throat. This allows for easier and unobstructed breathing, promoting a sound and uninterrupted sleep, reducing snoring, and minimizing the occurrence of awakenings. Research studies have shown that oral appliances are effective in reducing the severity of sleep apnea by over 50%, with a success rate of up to 81% in restoring normal breathing and maintaining long-term efficacy for up to 4 years. Consequently, it helps improve conditions such as hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and diabetes. To achieve better results, all patients should control their weight and avoid obesity, engage in regular physical exercise, abstain from alcohol consumption and smoking, especially before bedtime.
- Dentures should be replaced after each use because they wear out and become less effective over time. It is highly recommended to replace dentures regularly, especially for teenagers, as the mouth and teeth continue to grow. Many athletes often order new dentures every 6 months when they go for dental check-ups.
- Clean dentures thoroughly after each use using clean water.
- Store them in a container or case with dampened tissue paper to prevent them from getting misshapen or easily broken.
- Dentures can be cleaned along with the use of denture cleaning tablets to remove stubborn stains."