Chapel Hill Cosmetic and Family Dentistry has your teeth grinding solutions and treatments for the effects of bruxism. Millions of people are affected by bruxism, or teeth grinding. Bruxism is a condition in which you clench or grind teeth. Most people grind their teeth at night and as a result, may not realize that they have a problem. Instead, they may notice that they have headaches, sore jaws, or worn teeth.
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism is the clinical term for a condition where a person grinds or clenches their teeth. Most patients clench or grind their teeth during sleep or when feeling stressed and do not realize they are doing so. Dr. Furgurson and Dr. White look for the common signs of teeth grinding during dental exams.
Signs & Symptoms of Bruxism
Common signs of bruxism include:
- Worn teeth
- Dull or abraded tooth enamel
- Tooth Sensitivity
- Broken fillings and/or crowns
- Headaches, especially in the morning
- Jaw pain or soreness
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
There are many different reasons why people grind their teeth. Your dentist will ask you a variety of questions to help you figure out why. Caffeine, alcohol, tobacco, and drugs will increase the risk of teeth grinding. Grinding of the teeth can also be associated with sleep apnea or acid reflux. Most patients seen at our Chapel Hill dentist office suffer from teeth grinding because of:
- Malocclusion (when the teeth are not aligned properly)
- Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction (TMD)
- Stress, anxiety, or tension
Treatment for Teeth Grinding in Chapel Hill
There is no definitive treatment for bruxism. At Chapel Hill Family & Cosmetic Dentistry, your therapy will depend on your oral health condition and the presence of any underlying dental concerns. Dr. Furgurson and Dr. White generally prefer an occlusal splint, similar to a mouthguard, that is worn during sleep to protect the teeth from grinding and clenching.
- Occlusal Splint / Night Guard: An occlusal splint is a removable appliance best suited for patients with a balanced bite and healthy TMJ. They are custom-made from dental impressions and will fit seamlessly over the teeth. The teeth grinding mouth guard is worn at night or while sleeping to protect teeth from grinding and clenching.
- Orthodontics: If your teeth are not in proper alignment, we may suggest orthodontic treatment to reposition teeth and allow for proper contact and jaw alignment, thus preventing grinding and clenching. We offer the Invisalign clear aligner system to help shift the teeth into proper alignment. Invisalign involves wearing a series of clear aligners that are very discreet. The aligners are switched out every week and are worn for 22 hours a day.
- Bite Equilibration: Bite equilibration, or bite correction therapy, involves the dentist making minor adjustments to the teeth to allow them to fit together properly, eliminating stress and pressure.
- Restorative Dentistry: Frequent and long-term grinding can leave the teeth severely damaged. Once the bruxism has been successfully managed, the next step is often to repair worn or broken teeth. Our Chapel Hill dentist office provides comprehensive restorative dentistry procedures to bring teeth back to optimal health and esthetics. Restorative dental treatments include dental crowns, porcelain veneers, and/or cosmetic bonding.