Teeth are not meant to touch. It sounds strange but it’s true. Your teeth don’t touch when you speak, when you smile, or even when you eat. Your teeth should only touch for an average of 4 minutes or less per day. The effects of grinding (or bruxism) can be permanently damaging not only to your teeth, but to your jaw as well. Here are six signs you are clenching/grinding your teeth.

Wear marks

If your teeth are starting to feel flat on the surface, there is a great possibility that you are grinding them together. If you are, you will start to see wear marks where your teeth have rubbed together. It can also cause your enamel to be worn therefore making it 4-5 times easier for decay to become present.

Sore jaw

Many times if you clench or grind, your jaw will be very sore when you wake up in the morning. It will also be sore whenever you chew, yawn, or smile. Typically its more sore on one side of the mouth, but sometimes it can be sore on each side.

Broken or cracked teeth

If you notice your teeth starting to break frequently, that can also be a sign of bruxism. If you are grinding at night, your teeth will be together for 3 hours or 180 minutes. That is about 45 times longer than average. The longer your teeth are together, the more they break down and weaken. Again, making it easier for them to break or crack.


Many clenchers/grinders will notice their bite starts to shift after a certain period of time. The cause of this shift happens when your teeth start to wear down and become flat, therefore causing your bite to be over closed.


If you notice one or two teeth starting to hurt, it could be caused from bruxism. If those to teeth are even as little as a millimeter higher than the other teeth, all of the pressure from biting goes to those areas and causes a terrible tooth ache.


Often times, people who clench/grind will wake up with a raging headache or develop a lingering headache that seems to never relent. It is caused by your jaw clenching in a position irregular to your muscle’s memory therefore, causing stress and overuse to the muscles involved, resulting in a headache. Compare it to using only your arms to rock climb. Eventually your arms will tire from overuse and cause sore muscles and joints.

If you think you might be clenching or grinding, there is a solution for you! Call Apex Dental today at 801-566-8833.

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