Four things to know about bruxism

Everyone deals with stressors in their life, often on a daily basis. However, did you know that some forms of stress can actually manifest them into more physical issues? For example, some patients who have a high level of stress on a regular basis may find that they inadvertently clench and grind their teeth.

Bruxism affects millions of adults and children, and may often be seen as just a bad habit. Unfortunately, routine clenching and grinding can impact the smile. Dr. Michael Westman of Racine, WI educates patients on bruxism and what to expect.

  • Not all patients grind their teeth at night. In many cases, patients with bruxism unconsciously grind and clench their teeth while they sleep. This condition is referred to as nocturnal bruxism. There are some patients, however, that may actually grind during the day, and this can cause additional unwanted damage to the smile.
  • Bruxism is usually caused by poor bite alignment. The misalignment can contribute to the damage of natural teeth and restorations.
  • Clenching and grinding can wear down natural teeth and break dental restorations. Some patients get a diagnosis of bruxism due to the damage caused to the teeth that is noticed during a dental evaluation. Others may find that their dental restorations, such as dental crown, dental veneers, or dental bridges, are routinely damaged.
  • Some cases of bruxism can be caused by certain medications. There are certain medications that can cause bruxism to become a side effect. This is common with antidepressants such as Paxil, Prozac, and Zoloft. Patients can utilize a special mouthguard to protect their teeth and dental restorations if these side effects occur.

Discuss bruxism with Dr. Michael Westman today

Racine, WI area patients who are faced with bruxism are encouraged to speak to their dentist about what to do to protect their smile and maintain their oral health. Call (262) 639-7000 to request an appointment at 4944 Charles Street and talk to your dentist about bruxism.

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