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!