Many people unknowingly grind or clench their teeth during sleep or when feeling stressed. Athletes can also be unaware of teeth grinding when playing intensely. For many it is the natural reaction to perceived stress, but it can also be the result of an imbalance in the bite.
Chapel Hill, NC dentist, Dr. James Furgurson, has extensive training in the diagnosis and treatment of teeth grinding, also known as bruxism. Addressing bruxism is important to avoid eventual damage to the teeth and gums- even tooth loss.
Dr. Furgurson can identify the root cause of bruxism through thorough examination for the signs of teeth grinding and discussing possible symptoms patients may be experiencing. This enables him to recommend a plan of treatment that can provide comfortable, lasting results and restore oral health.
Signs and symptoms of bruxism
- Frequent headaches
- Earaches and neck pain
- Jaw pain and tenderness
- Worn, chipped or flat looking teeth
- Locked jaw
There are a variety of ways to treat teeth grinding, depending on the status of dental health and the cause. The most common is a custom mouth guard to be worn at night or during stressful situations which will prevent teeth grinding and jaw clenching and reduce or eliminate the associated symptoms. For athletes, wearing a custom sports mouth guard can alleviate stress put on the teeth during play- this has also been shown to improve performance.
Dr. Furgurson may recommend restorative procedures to realign the bite if necessary, as well as to repair damage from bruxism that can compromise the integrity of the teeth; dental crowns, tooth bonding and orthodontics.
Dr. Furgurson emphasizes the importance of maintaining oral health, including keeping the natural teeth for as long as possible. Treating bruxism will relieve symptoms that can affect daily life and restore your dental health!
If you think you may grind your teeth or have noticed some of the signs and symptoms mentioned, schedule an appointment with Dr. Furgurson in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.