One of the lesser known, but surprisingly common, oral health threats for adults is the condition bruxism. Patients who suffer from chronic bruxism find that their teeth begin to break down and look old and worn well before their time. So what can you do? Keep reading to learn more from our Orland Park dentists

How Does Bruxism Develop?

There are many possible causes of bruxism. Some people grind their teeth when they are anxious or stressed. Because this habit is involuntary habit, it can be helpful to take breaks during the day to notice what is happening with your jaw/how your temporomandibular joints feel.

Another common cause of bruxism is poor bite alignment. If your top and bottom teeth hit each other due to overbite, underbite, or crossbite, you may grind your teeth as a result. Old or poorly fit dental restorations can also lead patients to move their lower jaws back and forth and grind their teeth.

Do I Have Bruxism?

It can be difficult for people to tell if they are suffering from bruxism, because many of us actually grind and clench our teeth at night. For this reason, our Orland Park dental team recommends that you stay alert for these signs of nighttime dental grinding:

  • Pain or stiffness in your temporomandibular joints
  • Cracked or chipped teeth
  • Thinning dental enamel
  • Sore or sensitive teeth
  • Headaches when you wake up
  • Neck pain

The best way to determine whether you indeed have bruxism is to schedule a consultation with your dental team. They will be able to screen your smile for signs of damage.

What Should I Do?

If you notice signs of bruxism in your own life, take the time to schedule an assessment with your dental team. Once your dentist determines why you are grinding or clenching your teeth, they will be able to recommend further treatment that meets your exact needs.

Treatment options range from orthodontics, to protective oral appliances, to TMJ treatment. The two primary goals of orthodontic treatment are to protect your enamel, and to bring your top and bottom teeth into healthy alignment.

As always, our Tinley Park dentists are happy to provide you with any additional support and information that you may need. Give us a call to get started!


Don’t let tooth pain and sensitivity keep you from fully engaging in your day to day life. Thanks to advancements in modern dentistry, you can get the prompt and effective treatment you need, while safeguarding the health of your smile. Keep reading to learn more from our Tinley Park dentists about how and why sensitivity develops…

Damaged Dental Enamel

One of the primary purposes of dental enamel is to protect sensitive tooth layers—like dentin and dental pulp—from bacteria and irritants. Unfortunately, when enamel is damaged due to trauma, infection, or simply wearing down over time, it becomes a less effective barrier layer. Irritants that didn’t register at all before can now slip through the enamel’s surface, leading to discomfort.

Failing Gum Tissue 

Gum disease doesn’t just affect the gum layer that you can see, it also weakens hidden connective tissues that help to support healthy tooth and jawbone tissue. As gum disease progresses, your oral tissues become less elastic and resilient. The result is that your gums start to pull away from your teeth, forming small gaps called “periodontal pockets.” These pockets allow substances to reach your dental nerves right below the gum-line.

During your appointment with our Orland Park dentists, we will analyze your smile in order to determine the root cause your discomfort. Then, we can make some treatment recommendations that suit your specific needs. We may suggest treatments or therapies that…

Minimize Nerve Sensitivity

You have probably noticed that there are a number of toothpastes and mouth rinses on the market that are designed for sensitive teeth. Switching to sensitive-safe oral hygiene product, or adding one into your daily routine, can help you live with less pain, and jump back into your daily routine. While these solutions may not meet your long-term needs, they are a great place to start.

Support Strong Enamel

The stronger your enamel is, the better it is able to shield sensitive nerves from irritants. Topical fluoride applications can fortify enamel—this can be achieved through in-office treatments or at-home use of fluoridated formulations. We also encourage our patients to seek prompt treatment for bruxism (dental grinding), as the tooth-on-tooth contact associated with bruxism is particularly hard on enamel.

Bulk-up Insufficient Enamel

Whether your enamel is universally thin, or you have discrete spots of infection or weakness, restorative treatment will help to treat sensitivity. Materials like composite resin and porcelain are applied on top of the natural enamel, essentially acting as protective coverings for the tooth as a whole.

If you have additional questions, or you would like to schedule a consultation with our Orland Park dentists, just give our office a call! 

Contact Us for a Complimentary Smile Consultation