Elmhurst Dentist Answers Your Questions About Chronic Bruxism

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Apr 3, 2016

If you have been diagnosed with bruxism, or if you have an inkling that you may be suffering from this condition, our Elmhurst dentists are here to help. Today we are answering a number of questions about bruxism, so that you can better understand how this condition presents, and what you can do about it.

Let’s get started!

Q: I’ve heard that bruxism happens at night, how am I supposed to know whether I have bruxism?
A: Great question! Indeed, many people do grind and clench their teeth at night, as they sleep. There are some things that you may notice during the day that may indicate that you have nighttime bruxism. If you wake up with a sore jaw, or with sore back teeth, this could be caused by bruxism. Additionally, many bruxism sufferers deal with chronic headaches and thinning dental enamel.

Q: How long does bruxism last?
A: Some people experience bruxism episodically—these patients usually grind and clench their teeth in times of stress. Other dental patients, however, suffer from chronic bruxism, because of some kind of underlying bite misalignment or jaw problems. When you come in for an assessment, our dental team will determine what type of bruxism you’re dealing with, so that we can choose the right treatments for you.

Q: What happens if I don’t treat bruxism?
A: Over time, bruxism can really damage your smile, as well as your general quality of life. Chronic bruxism leads to jaw damage, weakened dental enamel that is prone to infection and trauma, and headaches and facial pain.

When you notice the symptoms of bruxism in your own life, please reach out to our dental team right away. Our Elmhurst dentists will help you through every stage of bruxism treatment, so that you can avoid long-term complications of these issues.