Elmhurst Dentist Explains What Bruxism is and How it Leads to Tooth Damage and Pain

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Dec 4, 2012

Many patients don’t even realize the bruxism—dental grinding and clenching—is a serious dental issue that can harm your smile. Patients with bruxism habitually grind their teeth together. Sometimes this is due to stress during the day, and sometimes it happens at night. Patients who grind their teeth at night may not even realize that they’re doing it until they’ve already sustained dental damage.

Our Elmhurst dentists want to help you avoid dental problems by empowering you with information so you recognize symptoms of bruxism. If you notice any of these things in your daily life, seek treatment for your dentist.

Bruxism causes symptoms like jaw pain, jaw stiffness, and jaw muscle fatigue. Over time, bruxism creates extreme pressure on your teeth. When your back teeth are exposed to this pressure day after day or night after night they begin to wear down. Eventually bruxism can lead to small fractures in your back teeth.

At this point you may start to experience toothache pain. Small fractures and chips in your teeth can expose and inflame the dental nerves that reside in the inner tooth—the dental pulp. Even if you’ve stopped grinding, your teeth may have sustained so much previous bruxism damage that they’re weakened and susceptible to injury.

As a patient, the best thing that you can do is vigilantly stay alert for sings of dental grinding. If you feel like you may have bruxism, see your dentist and tell them about your concerns. There are treatments and dental appliances that can help you stop grinding and protect your teeth. The sooner you begin an effective treatment regimen, the less likely you are to sustain serious damage to your teeth.

Our Elmhrust dentist office is here to answer your bruxism questions and help you get the treatment you need. We’re available for consultations—give us a call to schedule one!