Jaw pain? Headaches? Dental Chips? Our Elmhurst Dentist Explains Why It Could Be Bruxism

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jan 10, 2017

Too many adults suffer from chronic head/face/neck pain without knowing that bruxism is a potential cause of all of these issues. Bruxism is a surprisingly common condition in which a person grinds or clenches his teeth habitually—this can happen day or night. Bruxism puts an enormous amount of pressure on a patient’s faciocranial structure as a whole.

Our Elmhurst dentist office provides treatment solutions for bruxism, which can help to alleviate pain and discomfort and safeguard your smile. When bruxism goes untreated, your dental enamel may thin and wear down prematurely; your smile will be at risk of developing cavities as well as cracks and chips.

The key to treating bruxism is to pinpoint its underlying cause:

You may be grinding your teeth because your bite surfaces do not come together evenly, and so your top and bottom teeth grind back and forth in order to find a comfortable “resting” position. In this case, orthodontic treatment may be used in order to move your natural teeth and improve your bite surfaces. Our dentist may alternatively recommend building up your bite surfaces with resin or restorations.

Another key cause of bruxism is stress. Luckily, this type of bruxism is often temporary, and once your stress levels are reduced you’re likely to stop grinding.

You may also be exhibiting bruxism because your temporomandibular joint is damaged. The temporomandibular joint is the joint that connects your skull to your lower jaw. If this joint becomes damaged due to injury or misalignment, you may experience bruxism as a result. Unfortunately, bruxism can further damage your TMJ; sticking you in a vicious cycle.

Have you noticed the signs of bruxism in your own life? If so, don’t wait to contact our Elmhurst dentists for support and treatment recommendations—we look forward to working with you!