Elmhurst Dentists Help You Protect Your Teeth From Bruxism Related Damage

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on May 11, 2021

While many people think of external factors when they consider oral health threats, the truth is that there are some actions, or habits, that you have unconsciously taken on that may be degrading your teeth. Maintaining a healthy smile is about a lot more than just killing harmful oral bacteria.

One condition that can weaken your smile over time is bruxism. Our Elmhurst dentists have put together this short overview of bruxism so that you can keep your eyes open for this problem in your own life. And, of course, you can always reach out to our dental team to learn more or to schedule a personal consultation.

What is bruxism? Bruxism refers to chronic dental grinding or clenching. If you regularly clench your top and bottom teeth together, you may be dealing with bruxism.

This condition sometimes pops up intermittently, during times of stress. Other people deal with chronic bruxism due to structural imbalances in their smiles.

Keep in mind that dental grinding often occurs when the patient is asleep, and thus it can be difficult for patients to pinpoint this problem on their own. You want to keep your eyes open for signs of nighttime grinding, including:

  • Sore or sensitive jaw joints
  • Sore back teeth
  • Frequent headaches, neck, or ear pain, especially upon waking
  • If you wear a retainer due to orthodontic treatment, check for bite marks on your retainer—this is clear indication that you’re dealing with bruxism

Effectively treating bruxism involves pinpointing the root cause of the problem, and then recommending a treatment plan. Our dental team may also outfit you with a protective mouthpiece to wear when you sleep; this oral appliance protects your enamel from thinning, cracks, and chips.

The most important thing to keep in mind is that prompt treatment for bruxism can help you avoid a host of long-term oral health problems. So, give our Elmhurst dentists a call to schedule a personal consultation!