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Scharfenberg Dental Blog

Our Elmhurst Dentists Discuss Dental Issues Associated With Tooth Grinding

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

If you are one of the many adult dental patients who suffers from bruxism, or chronic dental grinding, then you may be unknowingly undermining the strength and structure of your smile. That’s why our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you take control of your oral health. Keep reading to learn more about this common condition…

Not all of us grind or clench our teeth during the day; some of us are unconsciously damaging our teeth as we sleep! This often occurs because the patient’s top and bottom teeth do not come together comfortably and naturally. Thus, when the patient is asleep they are moving their teeth back and forth in an effort to find a comfortable resting position.

Bruxism can also develop due to:

  • Increased stress and anxiety
  • Temporomandibular joint damage, which makes it difficult to move your jaw joints through their full ranges of motion
  • Aging dental restorations, which throw off the balance of your smile

When treating bruxism, our Elmhurst dentists have two goals; we want to protect your teeth from damage, and minimize your grinding habit to reduce your risk of TMJ damage. To that end, we may recommend that you:

  • Wear a protective oral appliance at night, to shield your teeth from enamel-on-enamel damage
  • Replace old restorations with custom crowns
  • Use dental bonding to build up and shape specific teeth
  • Pursue orthodontic treatment to move your top and bottom teeth into better positions

This entire process begins with a personalized consultation. Our dental team will thoroughly assess the function of your smile, as well as your existing oral health status. In some cases, it may be a good idea to correct oral health problems prior to addressing bruxism.

The sooner that you are able to address bruxism, the better your long-term oral health prognosis will be. Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help you from start to finish, so give us a call to schedule a consultation!

Our Elmhurst Dentists Explain How Structural Dental Issues Can Affect Oral Health

Tuesday, August 06, 2019

Our Elmhurst dentists are here to help our patients develop comprehensive, personalized oral health plans, so that they can enjoy attractive and strong smiles for years to come. One important consideration when going through this process is the existing structure of a patient’s smile. Keep reading to learn more…

When we talk about dental structure, we are referring primarily to the way that your teeth are aligned, and your top and bottom jaws come together. As you may imagine, dental alignment affects jaw function, and vice versa.

In a well-designed smile, the patient’s top and bottom teeth meet comfortably and evenly. When this isn’t the case, the patient is at an increased risk of suffering from:

  • Premature tooth wear and tear
  • Unhealthy, thin dental enamel—this leaves your teeth vulnerable to damage, and it may make your smile appear darker and yellower
  • TMJ dysfunction—your temporomandibular joints (TMJs) attach your bottom jaw to your skull
  • Bruxism, which is characterized by tooth grinding and clenching

The key to successful treatment is to first identify the root cause of your structural dental problem. You may have aging restorations that have thrown your smile off balance, or an overbite/underbite/crossbite may make it difficult for you to bring your top and bottom teeth together comfortably.

The treatments we use to improve these types of structural problems are versatile and patient-friendly:

  • Custom-crafted crowns
  • Dental bonding with composite resin, to build up specific tooth surfaces
  • Orthodontic treatment
  • Shaping and refining the natural tooth

As with most dental issues, the sooner that you are able to address structural dental imbalances, the better your long-term prognosis. Our Elmhurst dentists are here to answer any questions that you may have, and to walk you through your treatment options. Get started by giving our office a call or by using the Contact Us page on our website to submit an inquiry and your contact information.

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