Repair Damage From Teeth Grinding & Clenching
Do you often find yourself clenching or grinding your teeth? You may have bruxism. Bruxism is a condition characterized by chronic teeth grinding or clenching. Stress, crooked teeth, a misaligned bite, and even your genetics can cause this condition. However, you are not alone! Millions of Americans clench or grind their teeth at night or during stressful situations. This can result in worn down or even broken teeth.
Fortunately, Dr. Greg Reece and his team at Dentistry of the Queen City offer teeth clenching and grinding solutions in Charlotte, NC. Our treatments can help prevent further damage to your teeth. But first, what other symptoms accompany bruxism?
Signs of Bruxism
If you have signs of bruxism or know someone who does, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible. There are several symptoms and signs of this parafunctional activity to look out for, such as earaches, sore neck muscles and jaw muscles. More signs include:
- Waking up with a migraine or chronic headaches.
- Muscle tenderness.
- Teeth clenching.
- Facial pain.
- Worn tooth enamel.
- Chipped teeth.
- Tooth sensitivity.
- Pain in the jaw, ear and sometimes neck area.
- Teeth grinding or teeth clacking together while they are asleep or during sleep.
- Feeling nauseous in the morning from the noise produced by teeth grinding and tooth clacking.
If you have any of these symptoms, call our Charlotte dental office immediately. Depending on the severity of the condition, you may need multiple treatments to not only stop bruxism but to restore damaged teeth.
Treating Bruxism in Charlotte, NC
Dr. Reece will review your budget, goals, and oral health problems with you before treatment. You can also discuss your symptoms and ask any questions you may have about treatment.
Oral appliances are a great treatment option for bruxism. They act like mouthguards. It will simply create a barrier between the upper and lower teeth. You will wear it at night to protect your teeth and keep them from grinding together. Oral appliances can fit over your upper or lower teeth to take pressure off of the jaw.
The process to get an oral appliance is simple and quick. At the first appointment, we will take impressions of your teeth. We will send the molds of your teeth to a dental lab where they will fabricate the mouthguard. Once we receive it from them, you will return to our office. We will try it on for fit and function. The whole process only takes 2 to 3 weeks.
Treatments to Repair Worn Down Teeth
If the constant wear and tear from teeth grinding has lead to broken, damaged, or worn down teeth, Dr. Reece may need to repair the damage. He provides several restorative dentistry treatments for patients who suffer from bruxism. It is important to treat any damage caused by teeth grinding because it may progress. Damaged, broken, or worn down teeth can decay easier, allow bacteria to enter the inner part of the tooth, leave the tooth weak, expose nerve endings, lead to sensitive teeth and more.
Dental bonding is a simple, quick, and affordable treatment Dr. Reece uses to treat damage from teeth grinding. He will apply a resin material that will match the color of your teeth directly to the tooth. Then he will shape it by hand for a natural appearance. To learn more about this treatment and whether or not it can treat your worn down teeth, see Tooth Bonding.
A more severe case of wear and tear may require a dental crown. This restorative dentistry treatment will restore the tooth and strengthen it to prevent further damage. A dental crown is like a cap that will cover the entire tooth. They are custom made to blend in with your surrounding teeth. To learn more about the dental crown process, see Dental Crown.
A dental veneer is a thin, custom made shell that is made of porcelain. It will cover the entire front surface of each tooth that your dentist will treat. Dr. Reece will suggest this treatment to repair damage from the bruxism and improve the overall appearance of your smile. To learn more about the benefits of dental veneers, see Porcelain Veneers.
In the most extreme cases of teeth grinding, the damage may be too great to fix. In this case, Dr. Reece may suggest an extraction and to replace the tooth with a dental implant. This is the best way to replace a tooth because it provides a long lasting, durable, and natural solution to tooth loss. He will insert a titanium post into the jaw bone at the void then cap it off with a custom dental crown. To learn more about the dental implant process, see Dental Implants.
Teeth Grinding FAQs
Can teeth grinding ruin teeth?
The habit of grinding your teeth can cause damage to your teeth and eventually ruin them. Grinding your teeth together can break them! The action of grinding teeth together weakens the surface of the teeth. The added pressure may also cause teeth to crack or fracture. It can also cause damage to your gums, and cause other oral health issues.
Should you wear a night guard on your upper or lower teeth?
Patients typically wear their night guard on their upper teeth. This is because it is easier to keep a night guard in place on your top teeth, however, dentists recommend bottom night guards over top ones. The goal of a night guard is to protect your teeth from further grinding damage.
How do I stop grinding my teeth at night without a night guard?
The main reason that patients grind their teeth is due to stress and anxiety. If you can determine what is causing you stress, and get rid of whatever is causing you anxiety your habit of teeth grinding may go away on its own. Physical therapy and acupuncture may also help you stop grinding your teeth.
Schedule a Dental Exam with our Dentist in Charlotte
Are you tired of tooth and facial pain? Stop your bruxism at the source. Call Dentistry of the Queen City in Charlotte, NC at 704-486-8911 today. You may also schedule an appointment on our website.
Dr. Reece and his professional team are passionate about providing cosmetic and restorative treatments to patients of all ages. They will work with you to ensure that you are comfortable during every step of treatment.