Gnathological bite

Dental bite: what is it, what is it for and what are the contraindications?

A dental bite is an occlusal splint made of rigid acrylic resin. Soft bites are rarely used. The choice of acrylic resin as the preferred material is due to its durability, comfort, and ease of cleaning.

In this article, we’ll explain what a dental bite is used for and what types exist on the market.

What is a dental bite used for?

The bite solves problems related to teeth grinding, mandibular dislocation, dental malocclusions, and snoring. Depending on the problem being treated, it can be worn at night or full-time and is removed only for eating. The bite conforms to the patient’s arch and has a thickness varying from 2 to 6 millimeters. It can be smooth or indented and is positioned between the two dental arches. Its treatment duration varies according to the type of problem being treated.

The bite can be worn in the upper or lower arch. Today, however, mandibular bites are more commonly made as they are less visible, assure better phonetics and pronunciation, and leave the upper arch free.

How is a dental bite made?

The gnatologist, who has specific skills regarding the mouth’s joints, muscles, face, and conditions connected to them, can identify and define the necessary treatment type for the bite. The mouth, teeth, muscles, and TMJs are connected to the postural system. Dental positions, or temporo-mandibular joint disorders, can provoke musculoskeletal discomfort in parts of the body distant from the head, like the back.

Customized bites, made specifically from a patient’s mouth analysis, are strongly recommended. Bite molds can be standardized and pre-made on the market too, but they can be used by the patient without an actual diagnosis, and this can worsen pathological conditions like the dislocation of the meniscus.

The diagnosis must be given by the gnatologist through an accurate and thorough visit, which is often supplemented by postural tests to evaluate the patient as a whole. In addition to this, they use a fundamental diagnostic exam, which is an MRI of the TMJs.

Given the necessary diagnostic investigation, a bite is an individualized therapeutic system. It is created by the dentist not only by taking impressions of the mouth but also considering the MRI, studying the panoramic radiography, teleradiography, and applying a diagnostic process that determines the most correct bite according to the specific problem being treated. Specific tests reproducing mandibular movements and the relationship between various parts of the mouth, thanks to a particular instrument called articulator, are also performed in addition to the dental impression.

After the production of the bite, lab phases follow to guarantee its perfect adherence to the patient’s mouth. In the event of a breakage, the bite can be repaired using the same material used to make it.

How many types of bites are there?

Dental bites present on the market differ by:

  • Customized bites: made to measure by the dentist following proper diagnosis and impressions (recommended);
  • Automoldable bites: made of thermoplastic masks adapted to the dental arch by being heated in hot water;
  • Pre-made: standardized resin plates.

When to use a dental bite?

A dental bite can be a valid device for treating various problems affecting various body districts. A specialized visit from the gnatologist can intercept the specific problem and evaluate the most suitable bite and therapy together with other specialists in some cases.


Those who grind their teeth (bruxism) may experience headaches, tense shoulder pain, tinnitus, and vertigo. The bite protects the teeth from the mechanical action of bruxism and is frequently used at night. Invasive tests completed with the patient’s dentist can help identify the jaw clenching.

Repositioning of the condyle-mandibular:

A small disk, or meniscus, like that on our knees is present within the joints of the mouth and sometimes can move from its location, creating sounds called clicking. When the meniscus moves fully, you can have blocks, and the patient cannot fully open the mouth. Bite molds used against that can be of different types based on the patient’s problem.


Snoring may result from chronic pathologies like sleep apnea, the deviation of the septum, sinusitis or nasal polyps. Alterations in the throat or oral cavity, such as enlarged tonsils or adenoids, can also cause snoring. 


Certain malocclusions can cause abnormal mandibular centrality, deviations from its usual position over time causing alterations in the TMJ. Bite molds specifically designed, are used to treat initial conditions, then to continue if possible with orthodontic therapy for malocclusions.

Back Pain:

For patients experiencing discomfort linked to the mouth that affects the neck and shoulders, bite molds might help alleviate the related back pains.

When to use a dental bite in children?

In children, the use of rigid bites is not common as in most cases with the continuous alteration in dental positions; fitting non-adjustable positioning is unfeasible. More commonly, the orientation is toward using elastomeric appliances that are both functional and orthetic thanks to their modability.

How much does a dental bite cost?

The price can vary notably according to the dental problem being resolved and the materials used for the construction of the bite, which guarantee its duration and comfort. The production of a custom bite is more costly compared to a standardized bite available on the market due to the necessary diagnostic investigation technology, mode, and case study. The advantages of a custom bite are, however, evident and confirmed.

How to clean a dental bite

The bite must be cleaned every day using a soft-bristled toothbrush (preferably dedicated exclusively to this use) and non-abrasive toothpaste or neutral soap. Liquids for the specific purpose of cleaning bites are also available on the market.

Immersion of the bite in solutions like Amuchina, anticalcium, or similar liquids, boiling them, or washing them in dishwashers is not allowed.

Dental bite at night: what to know?

In the case of a bite at night, prescribed to protect teeth during grinding, no specific side effect concerns its use. It is important to monitor its wear over time against the patient’s mouth and maintain dental hygiene to keep the proliferation of bacteria away.

Contraindications to dental bite

The bite’s use is straightforward, and maintenance is simple and clean. It should not, however, be forgotten that the placenta can interfere with the forces and the equilibrium present in the mouth, and for this reason, it is necessary to choose a bite produced by a specialist who has studied your specific case and supplies you with the necessary balancing to avoid possible musculoskeletal disorders or aggravation of symptoms like headache or other disturbances.

If a bite is not well adherent or calibrated, it could cause small irritations involving the tongue, cheeks, lips, or small aphthous ulcers in the mouth’s mucosa. Any small difficulty is easily resolved with a custom-made therapeutic option periodically monitored by the gnatologist, allowing for the appropriate dental occlusion.

In patients verified with allergies to some bite components, like acrylic resins or others, it is essential to report it to your dentist and evaluate the hypoallergenic material most suitable for the bite kit’s construction. Cases of hyposcaling can also arise, but through dentists’ careful construction, wounding, and shops are avoidable.

How long does a dental bite last?

A bite handled properly and accurately cleaned can last for several years. However, sliding tooth action should not affect their surface-type damage creating grooves that are difficult to clean adequately or their thinning.

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Saturday 9 AM > 1 PM by appointment only
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