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Scharfenberg Dental Blog

Our Elmhurst Dentist Explains Problems Associated with Bruxism

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

We often think of our smiles as being attacked from outside forces—sugars, staining beverages, and one-off accidents. However, in many cases, the biggest dangers to long-term oral health are structural problems or chronic habits, like bruxism. Keep reading to learn more about how and why bruxism develops, and what you can do about it.

What is bruxism?

We use the term “bruxism” to refer to any chronic or habitual dental grinding or clenching. This behavior may manifest during the day, or when the patient is asleep, or both. Bruxism is problematic because it puts an immense amount of pressure on your dental enamel as well as your temporomandibular joints.

What causes bruxism?

There are a number of underlying issues that can lead to bruxism. Sometimes, bruxism is a response to stress and anxiety. Bruxism can also develop if a patient’s bite alignment is poor; when the teeth do not come together comfortably and naturally, the patient will unconsciously move their bottom jaw back and forth in an effort to find a comfortable resting place. A damaged to temporomandibular joint can also lead to bite destabilization and consequently dental grinding.

What kinds of treatments are available?

Our Elmhurst dentists use a number of different treatments for bruxism; we tailor treatments to address the relevant underlying cause of the patient’s dental imbalance. Orthodontic treatment and thoughtfully placed restorations, for example, can help to balance how the top and bottom teeth come together. In instances of nighttime bruxism caused by stress, it may be helpful for the patient to wear a custom-fit oral appliance when sleeping.

If you notice any signs of symptoms of bruxism in your own life, please reach out to our Elmhurst dentists to schedule a personal consultation. The sooner that you begin treatment from bruxism the less likely you will be to develop long-term complications like enamel thinning and dental sensitivity. 

Pediatric Dentistry Explained By Our Elmhurst Family Dentists

Tuesday, January 07, 2020

As family dentists, our Elmhurst dental team is committed to helping patients of all ages maintain optimal oral health. There are some special considerations to keep in mind when helping young patients safeguard their smiles. Keep reading to learn more about what we emphasize when working with kids!

At-home oral hygiene routine 

Develop good habits—we want to help our young patients get into the habit of brushing their teeth every morning and evening, and flossing once a day. Make this part of your family’s daily schedule so that it becomes an engrained part of your child’s routine. A thorough oral hygiene routine helps to:

  • Minimize plaque accumulation
  • Fight bad breath
  • Prevent cavity and gum disease development
  • Reduce enamel discoloration
  • Allow your child to retain his or her primary teeth until their adult teeth are ready to emerge

Professional appointments

The ADA recommends that all patients complete professional dental cleanings and assessments at least twice a year. When young patients have positive experiences in the dentist’s office, they are less likely to experience dental fear and anxiety as adults. During your child’s appointment we:

  • Clear away bacterial plaque and tartar—because tartar is calcified plaque, it can only be removed by professional methods
  • Treat existing infections before they spread
  • Head-off any future structural dental problems
  • Make recommendations for at-home care, to improve its efficacy

As always, our Elmhurst dentists are here to answer any questions that you have about pediatric and family dental care. The easiest way to get started is to schedule a consultation with our team by phone or through our Contact Us page.


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