Unless you’ve heard of bruxism before, you might not think that grinding your teeth together is something to worry about. It happens to everyone to some degree, and if your teeth don’t hurt, then why bother? However, grinding your teeth constantly can be a symptom of a chronic oral health condition known as bruxism, and without proper treatment, it can lead to a host of severe troubles for your smile. At our Silver City, NM, dental office, we can help you determine if your teeth-grinding habit is a sign of bruxism, and if you can benefit from customized treatment to help you address it.

Your teeth are getting sensitive

One of the first signs that your teeth are in trouble is when they start to grow increasingly more sensitive. When healthy, your teeth are surrounded and protected by the most resilient substance your body produces, known as enamel. This highly mineralized layer of enamel protects your main tooth structure, preventing it from feeling anything besides the pressure of your bite. However, when you constantly grind your teeth together, they can wear down each other’s protective enamel. Your teeth will start to feel more sensitive every day as the pressure and friction continues to destroy your tooth enamel.

One or more teeth look slightly different

Sensitive teeth are a common sign of bruxism, but they aren’t the only thing you should look out for. Whether your teeth hurt or not, untreated bruxism can also lead to changes in their appearance. For example, the friction can wear down the chewing surfaces of your teeth, making them appear smaller or different than they used to. Excessive tooth wear isn’t exclusive to bruxism, but if you notice along with increasing tooth sensitivity and/or a chronic teeth-grinding habit, then it could be a good sign that you need bruxism treatment to preserve your smile.

Your bite feels uneven when you close it

While excessive tooth wear can change how your teeth appear, it can also change how your bite functions when you open and close it. Your teeth and their alignment play big roles in your bite function, and if some of them are worn down, they may no longer be able to meet their opposing teeth whenever you bite down. The disturbance this causes to your bite’s balance can become increasingly more obvious, and can lead to a wide range of subsequent troubles with your tooth structure, your jaw joints and muscles, and more.

Find out if you need bruxism treatment

If these or other signs indicate that you might be grinding your teeth too much, then find out if you could benefit from custom bruxism treatment. To learn more, schedule a consultation by calling Silver Smiles in Silver City, NM, today at (575) 534-3699.