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Port Clinton Dental Care

Protect Your Smile from Nighttime Grinding

Teeth grinding and clenching, also known as bruxism, can not only affect your oral health but impact your overall quality of life. Often, patients unconsciously grind their teeth during sleep. Over time, this unconscious habit can damage tooth enamel and the biting surfaces of molars, leaving you vulnerable to decay and broken teeth.

At Port Clinton Dental Care in Highland Park, IL,  Dr. Michael Wasserman can effectively address bruxism to prevent further dental damage and oral health concerns. Bruxism treatment generally includes lifestyle adjustments to reduce stress and anxiety, as well as a custom-made night guard. After evaluating your medical history and lifestyle, we can design a treatment plan personalized to your needs.

Comparison of teeth unaffected by grinding and those affected by grinding
Teeth grinding can lead to a variety of dental health complications, including enamel erosion and gum recession.

What is Bruxism?

Teeth grinding and jaw clenching is a common condition, affecting approximately 10 percent of individuals and up to 15 percent of children. Although bruxism can manifest during the day, especially during moments of high stress, it is most commonly seen during sleep. The effects of bruxism can range in severity, from a minor headache to more serious conditions such as temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder, gum recession, and dental damage.

Causes of Bruxism

The cause of bruxism differs for each patient, but nearly 70 percent of cases are linked to stress and anxiety. Much like nail biting, individuals can grind their teeth as a coping mechanism. It may also be the result of improper bite alignment or a negative side effect of hyperactivity disorder, antidepressants, or diseases of the facial nerves and muscles.

Common Symptoms

Patients with bruxism often experience:

  • Frequent headaches, especially when waking
  • Tight or painful jaw muscles
  • Difficulty opening or closing the mouth
  • Jaw pain
  • Swelling and tenderness around the jaw muscles
  • TMJ disorder
  • Cracked or damaged teeth
  • Broken dental fillings
  • Loose teeth
  • Tooth pain
  • Gum recession
  • Gum tenderness
  • Tooth loss
  • Facial swelling and pain

Dr. Wasserman can carefully review your symptoms in order to recommend proper treatment.

How Long Does It Last?

While children can eventually outgrow bruxism, it is still important to discuss any symptoms with your dentist to preserve your child's smile. Adults who develop bruxism generally require immediate treatment to protect their long-term oral health. If bruxism is left untreated, patients may require costly restorative dental procedures.

What You Can Do at Home 

The treatment for bruxism will depend on the cause. For patients who suffer from anxiety, Dr. Wasserman may recommend relaxation techniques such as meditation, yoga, or other exercises to help you manage and reduce your stress. He may also suggest professional counseling and prescription anti-anxiety medications, in addition to lifestyle adjustments such as:

  • Avoiding alcohol
  • Reducing or avoiding caffeine
  • Refraining from chewing gum
  • Increasing sleep

These lifestyle changes are often recommended in combination with more formal treatment for the most effective results. 

Dental Treatment

If your teeth have been damaged, or you are experiencing dental pain as a result of teeth grinding and jaw clenching, you may require dental crowns to reinforce the structural integrity of your back molars.

The effects of bruxism can range in severity, from a minor headache to more serious conditions such as TMJ disorder, gum recession, and dental damage.

Dr. Wasserman can also design a custom-made oral appliance to be worn at night. This device will cover the top and bottom teeth and ease the pressure on your jaw muscles. It is designed to gently realign your teeth and muscles, while also protecting your teeth from the effects of grinding.

Relieve Your Discomfort

When you entrust your care to Dr. Wasserman and his dedicated team, you can rest assured we will provide individualized care and the highest standard of service. If you are suffering from bruxism, do not hesitate to schedule a consultation. You can contact us online or by phone at (847) 432-1416.

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Highland Park Office

1770 1st St
Ste 360
Highland Park, IL 60035

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

Open Monday and Thursday By Appointment Only

More Info Directions (847) 432-1416