The Grind: Signs You Might Be Grinding and Clenching Your Teeth

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MINT HILL, NC – Since the start of the pandemic and a mountain of stress, many people have picked up a grinding and clenching habit. Although many people are unaware of this habit, if it is not caught in time and properly managed, it can lead to a series of issues.

Here are some signs that may mean you are grinding and clenching:

  1. Scalloped tongue
    • If you are a clencher, most of the time you will have a “scalloped tongue.” If you see grooves on the side of your tongue, this means you are pressing your tongue against your clenched teeth causing the grooves to appear.
  2. Wake up in the morning with a headache or sore muscles
    • This habit causes the chewing muscles to become overworked. Imagine doing leg lifts all night when sleeping… you would wake up very sore and your muscles would ache!
  3. Flat teeth
    • Many years of undiagnosed grinding can cause teeth to become very short and flat on the chewing surface.
  4. Abfractions
    • Another sign is the loss of tooth structure close to the gums called an abfraction. The forces can be transferred to this part of the tooth creating notches that can cause sensitivity and trap bacteria.

Not sure if you are grinding or clenching your teeth? Call our office at 704-486-4189 or visit our website at to schedule an appointment. Our team at Dawson Modern Dentistry is happy to work with you in finding the best solution. Stay tuned for next week’s topic as we discuss the solutions to grinding and clenching.

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Ashley Dawson
Dr. Ashley Dawson is a general dentist and practice owner of Dawson Modern Dentistry (DMD) located in Mint Hill, NC. Dr. Dawson has taken a different approach to dental visits through the use of technology to ensure a more comfortable and engaging dental experience. The team at DMD is committed to continuing education in order to offer more services to patients while constantly improving the quality of care. Additionally, Dr. Dawson and her team are focused on quality dentistry and lifelong relationships with their patients.