When most patients think about preserving dental health they think about fighting the well-known problems—cavities and gum disease. Obviously this is very important, but there are other, lesser-known dental conditions that are quite common, and can really take a toll on your oral health over the years. Today we’re going to be talking about one of those common problems, bruxism. If you have any questions about bruxism at the end of this article, don’t hesitate to give our Orland Park dentist office a call.
Have you ever noticed that your jaw is really stiff or sore upon waking? Have you ever been concentrating really hard and found yourself clenching your jaw or grinding your teeth back and forth? If so, you’ve probably experienced bruxism.
Bruxism is simply a condition in which patients habitually clench their teeth or grind their teeth. Now, sometimes this happens during the day, and the patient will have to force him/herself to stop the behavior. However, often, dental grinding happens as patients are asleep, and thus not conscious of their behaviors.
In the short term bruxism can lead to some annoying symptoms like jaw soreness, stiffness, and pain. If you’ve already been diagnosed with TMJ problems, bruxism is likely to cause TMJ flare-ups.
Over time, bruxism can lead to even more serious problems. The pressure that bruxism puts on your teeth causes the teeth to weaken and break down. Over time your teeth may develop small cracks and chips and the enamel will weaken. This leaves your teeth more susceptible to infection and fracture.
There are steps you can take to protect your teeth. There are dental appliances available to relieve pressure in your jaw and protect dental enamel. If you’d like to speak to our Tinley Park dentist, you can schedule your personal consultation today!