Scharfenberg Dental Blog

Our Elmhurst Dentists Share Information & Treatment Tips For Bruxism

Tuesday, December 29, 2020

Bruxism is a common condition among adult dental patients. People who suffer from chronic dental grinding and clenching often notice that their smiles start to change—in appearance and health—as bruxism worsens. Keep reading to learn more from our Elmhurst dentists

What Causes Bruxism?

Bruxism is a condition that is characterized by dental grinding as well as tooth clenching. Sometimes bruxism is only a temporary problem—during times of great stress, for example. However, bruxism can also be a chronic condition caused by TMJ issues or poor bite alignment.

How Do I Know If I Have It?

Well, you may be able to notice yourself grinding our clenching your teeth during the day—if this happens to you, then we encourage you to reach out to your dentists for more support! But, remember that many people grind their teeth at night. To identify this type of bruxism, you want to make stay alert for:

  • Headaches up on waking
  • Jaw pain
  • Jaw stiffness
  • Bite alignment issues
  • Tooth pain

How Can I Protect My Smile?

Our dental team will tailor your treatment plan to suit your individual circumstance. If, for example, you only grind your teeth sometimes, due to stress, we may recommend some relaxation exercises and jaw stretches to alleviate the problem.

When bruxism is caused by poor bite alignment tor TMJ damage, we may recommend treatment that is designed to bring your bite into proper alignment. Additionally, some bruxism patients benefit from wearing custom-fit oral appliances at night. Not only do these appliances protect your teeth, they also guide your lower jaw into a healthy position. Finally, it may be helpful for you to replace old, ill-fitting restorations.

Now is the time to seek effective treatment for chronic dental grinding. Get more information from our Elmhurst dentists by giving our office a call, or by submitting a question for us through the Contact Us page on our site. 

Our Elmhurst Dentist Help Patients Care For Their Smiles During The Holiday Season

Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Most of us think of the holiday season as a time of togetherness, celebration, and joy. For our smiles, however, the holidays are risky business.

That is why our Elmhurst dentists have put together this short article about navigating the holidays while protecting your smile…

Stay Alert For Problem Ingredients

For many of us, the holiday season is a time filled with homemade cookies, nostalgic candies, and celebratory libations. And, while all of these things help to create a festive mood, they can also create an ideal environment for oral bacteria to flourish.

Treats that are both sugary and sticky, like caramels or peppermints, can be especially damaging. These foods cling to your dental surfaces, and provide an easy-to-access fuel source for the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. 

Rinse Regularly

Rinsing your smile throughout the day (and night) will help your smile stay healthy, and your breath stay fresh. The very act of rinsing with water dislodges food particles and plaque. Additionally, every time that you rinse your smile you jump-start saliva production in your mouth. Because saliva is your body’s natural way of neutralizing bacteria and re-mineralizing plaque, this is a pretty important habit to get into.

Indulge Thoughtfully

It is our goal to keep bacterial activity to minimum in your mouth, and to protect your teeth from damage. To that end, we encourage you to make a plan about how and when you will consume holiday treats. Eating a cookie in one sitting, for example, is better for your smile than snacking on the same cookie continuously throughout the day. The goal is to limit the amount of time that oral bacteria are active and feeding on sugar.

If you want to learn more about how you can care for your smile during the holidays, or all year long, please contact our Elmhurst dentists to get started!


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