Teeth clenching is a condition when you tightly hold your top and bottom teeth together, especially the back teeth.
Most people clench their teeth when they perform tasks that require intensive force. The real problem is when :
- teeth clenching becomes a habit. Some people clench their teeth even for mental tasks; others while just watching tv.
- teeth clenching happens also during the night.
Besides the problem of not realising that you have the habit of clenching teeth at night while sleeping,
the biting force is usually much greater than the pressure of clenching teeth while awake.
Teeth clenching puts pressure on the muscles, tissues, and other structures around the jaws.
The condition leads to TMJ disorder related symptoms as jaw pain and soreness, headaches, damaged teeth, and other problems.
Migraine headaches are a usual symptom in for patients clenching teeth while sleeping.
Due to the constant pressure, teeth clenching may damage the periodontal ligaments
(connective tissues that hold the root of the tooth attached to the jawbone) which could result in loose teeth.
Teeth grinding is a condition when the teeth of the bottom and upper jaw are moved against each other with a side to side action.
This can wear down the occlusal (biting) surfaces of the teeth. In most cases, teeth grinding involves the front teeth, canines and incisors.
Nighttime teeth grinding can be noisy enough to be a real annoyance for sleeping partners.
Like clenching, grinding can lead not only to tooth wear but also to jaw pain and other dental problems.
Bruxism is an occasional problem of little consequence for most people.
But for others, teeth grinding and/or teeth clenching can cause permanent damage to the teeth and TMJ disorder problems.