Teeth grinding can cause tooth loss and more. And most people who grind and clench their teeth (bruxism) do so while asleep, making it difficult to detect in the earliest stages.
Fortunately, your Charlotte, NC, dentist provides treatment through appliance therapy.
What Happens When You Grind Your Teeth
Without treatment, teeth grinding can lead to tooth fractures and loss. Additionally, you may notice bulky-appearing muscles near the jaw joints or in front of the ears. Over time, bruxism can become painful. You may notice:
- Neck pain
- Shoulder pain
Left untreated, bruxism can also damage your temporomandibular joints (TMJs). These are the joints that secure your lower jaw to the skull. TMJ can mean jaw locking, jaw clicking, and increasing pain.
Bruxism treatment in Charlotte, NC, can include special exercises and a custom oral appliance (nightguard) designed by your dentist.
The oral appliance fits over the teeth and keeps the upper and lower jaw separated during sleep, preventing grinding and clenching. This appliance can also heal your TMJ. However, your dentist will evaluate your situation to ensure that appliance therapy is a sufficient treatment.
Do You Suspect Bruxism in Charlotte?
If you wake up with sore jaw joints and headaches or notice wear and tear on your teeth, you may have bruxism. However, your dentist can determine a comprehensive exam.