When most of our dental patients think about threats to their smiles, they think of things like dental cavities and gum disease. However, certain dental habits can also harm your teeth over time.
One of the most damaging dental habits that patients exhibit is chronic dental grinding and clenching—this condition is called bruxism. Our Elmhurst dentists help patients minimize damage from bruxism, so that they can protect their smiles.
If you have noticed that you grind or clench your teeth throughout the day, you may be suffering from bruxism. Additionally, many people grind their teeth at night, as they sleep. If you wake up with a really sore jaw, or sore back teeth, this may be related to nighttime dental grinding.
Bruxism may occur because:
· The patient is particularly stressed or tense—anxiety can manifest as dental grinding
· The patient has an uneven bite surface—if this is the case, the patient may move his or her teeth back and forth at night, in an effort find a comfortable “resting” position for his or her teeth
· The patient is suffering from TMJ disorder—if the patient’s jaw joint is not properly aligned, this can lead to dental grinding
Our dental team helps patients protect their teeth with customized dental guards. These guards shield the dental enamel surface from damage. Additionally, if bruxism is related to TMJ issues, our dental team can create a TMJ aligner that helps the patient’s jaw sit in a more comfortable, and healthy position.
If you have noticed that you are grinding or clenching your teeth, please speak to your dentist about the possibility of bruxism treatment. Our Elmhurst dentists are happy to answer any of your questions about bruxism, and preventive dental care in general, so give us a call to get started!