Answers To Your Questions About Bruxism From Our Elmhurst Dentist

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jan 10, 2017

Answers To Your Questions About Bruxism From Our Elmhurst Dentist

Many people suffer from seemingly random facial pain and chronic headaches; these issues go untreated, because sufferers do not realize that there are treatment options available. In many cases, the root cause of these type of discomfort is actually bruxism.

Bruxism refers to chronic dental grinding and clenching; this may occur during the day or at night while the patient is sleeping.

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to answer your questions about bruxism—let’s get started!

Q: Why am I suffering from bruxism?

A: Bruxism may occur for a variety of reasons. You may have suffered an injury to your jaw at some point—this can cause your temporomandibular joint to become damaged and thus lead to bruxism. Another possibility is that your bite surfaces are poorly aligned, so your top and bottom teeth do not fit together comfortably. Additionally, sometimes bruxism pops up due to stress.

Q: What are the risks associated with bruxism?
A: Many people seek treatment for bruxism because it causes pain and discomfort. Beyond that, untreated bruxism can cause your dental enamel to wear down prematurely. Weakened dental enamel is susceptible to developing cracks, chips, and dental cavities. Bruxism can also injure you temporomandibular joint—the joint that connects your skull to your bottom jaw. TMJ damage can cause chronic pain, limited jaw mobility, and difficulty chewing.

Q: How do I know if I have bruxism?
A: If you notice that you are grinding or clenching your teeth during the day, talk to your dentist about your options. It can be harder, for obvious reasons, for patients to identify bruxism habits at night, but there are still some things to be aware of. If you are regularly waking up with headaches or jaw pain, this may be indicative of bruxism. Also, sometimes a bruxism sufferer’s sleeping partner can actually hear him or her grinding his or her teeth.

Don’t let bruxism go untreated; our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you address the underlying cause of jaw clenching!