Our Elmhurst Dentists Review The Mechanisms And Health Risks Of Bruxism

Written by Dr. Scharfenberg on Jan 4, 2018

Our Elmhurst Dentists Review The Mechanisms And Health Risks Of Bruxism

Bruxism is a sneaky, and often devastating, condition that can undermine the health and structure of your smile. Unfortunately, many bruxism sufferers do not even realize that they are dealing with this chronic oral health issue. That is why our Elmhurst dentists are here to share some information about why bruxism develops and how it manifests. Remember, if you think you’re dealing with bruxism, it’s best to reach out to your dentist for a thorough evaluation.

So, what is bruxism? Bruxism is a term that we use to describe chronic dental grinding and teeth clenching. Some bruxism sufferers find themselves grinding their teeth throughout the day, while other patients only exhibit clenching/grinding symptoms at night when they are asleep.

The problem with bruxism is that it puts an enormous amount of pressure on both your dental enamel and your temporomandibular joints. Over time this can lead to:

  • Thinning or weakened dental enamel—your teeth may start to look dull and yellow, and they may be more susceptible to cracking/chipping
  • TMJ pain and dysfunction—it could be become difficult to open your mouth fully, and you may experience a popping/clicking sensation when opening and closing your mouth
  • Chronic head/neck/ear pain—bruxism-related pain can radiate up and down a patient’s maxilla-facial structure
  • Shifting dental alignment—some bruxism sufferers find that their teeth begin to shift along their gum lines
  • Diminished sleep quality—if you grind or clench your teeth at night, you may not be getting the high-quality restorative sleep that you need to stay well

The good news is that our Elmhurst dentists can help you manage bruxism issues. Depending on the underlying cause of your bruxism, we may recommend that you:

  • Adopt some stress-relief behaviors or habits to lower anxiety and tension
  • Improve your bite alignment using orthodontic treatment, dental bonding, or customized restorations (poorly aligned bite surfaces are a leading cause of bruxism)
  • Wear a protective mouth guard to protect your teeth from grinding at night

If you think that you’re dealing with bruxism, please contact our Elmhurst dentists to get more information or to schedule a consultation. It is absolutely vital that you do not let this harmful condition go unchecked for too long!