Clenching (Bruxism)

Clenching (Bruxism)

Clenching (bruxism) means clenching or grinding the teeth other than chewing. Although it often occurs during sleep, clenching (bruxism) can also occur while awake. Most people are unaware that they are grinding or clenching their teeth. Grinding is the grinding and chewing of teeth. In clenching, the teeth are held together tightly and the muscles remain contracted without moving back and forth. Clenching can occur day or night. There are important differences between the clenching seen in sleep and clenching seen while awake. Clenching can cause face and jaw pain, jaw stiffness, jaw stiffness and headache. In the long term, grinding of teeth can cause limitation of movement in the jaw joint and discomfort in the teeth and gums. The treatment offered by the dentist is usually a night plaque, Includes mouth guard or splint. The aim is to prevent damage to the teeth and to eliminate the factors that cause clenching. These factors mainly include sleep apnea, severe stress and certain medications.

What are the Causes of Bruxism?

Clenching can be diagnosed by a dentist with a thorough dental examination. Worn enamel, broken and cracked teeth, enlarged jaw muscles can guide the diagnosis. Excessive and uncontrolled brushing, abrasives in toothpastes, acidic, alcoholic beverages and sweeteners can also cause teeth rubbing. Separation requires a skilled and experienced dentist. Medical professionals have not determined exactly what causes bruxism (teeth grinding), but they believe it is due to a combination of genetic, physical and psychological factors. In many cases, waking bruxism (teeth grinding) can be caused by emotions such as anxiety, stress, anger, frustration, or tension. Moreover, it may have turned into a coping strategy or habit as you move into deep concentration. sleep bruxism (teeth grinding), may occur as a result of chewing associated with or related to excitement during sleep. There are many factors that increase the risk of bruxism (teeth grinding): One of these factors is stress. Increased anxiety or stress can cause teeth grinding. It can also stem from anger and frustration. It may be associated with bruxism (teeth grinding), Parkinson's disease, dementia, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), epilepsy, night terrors, sleep disorders such as sleep apnea, and some other mental health and medical disorders such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Age is another factor that affects bruxism (teeth grinding). Bruxism (teeth grinding) is more common in young children, but usually disappears in adulthood. Aggressive, It has been determined that people with competitive or hyperactive personality types have a high risk of bruxism (teeth grinding). Bruxism (teeth grinding) can be a rare side effect of psychiatric medications such as some antidepressants. Similarly, smoking, drinking caffeinated beverages, drinking alcohol, or using drugs can increase the risk of bruxism (teeth grinding). Sleep bruxism (teeth grinding) especially runs in families. People with bruxism (teeth grinding) are more likely to have a family history of bruxism.

What are the Symptoms of Clenching (Bruxism)?

Bruxism (teeth grinding) can be divided into two types: There are two types: bruxism while asleep (teeth grinding) and bruxism while the person is awake. Bruxism (teeth grinding) has a variety of signs and symptoms that result from clenching of the teeth. The signs and symptoms of pressing the teeth together are as follows;

  • A person grinding their teeth loud enough to wake their sleeping partner
  • Increased toothache, including locking
  • Tooth sensitivity, cracked, flat and loose teeth
  • Jaw, neck or facial pain
  • Enamel eroded enough to expose the deeper layers of the tooth
  • Pain that feels like earache even if there is no problem in the ear
  • Mild headache that starts at the temples
  • Sleep disorders
  • Damage to the inside of the cheek due to chewing
  • A locked jaw is one that does not fully open or close when the jaw muscles are tired or contracted.


People who experience any of the above symptoms or have other concerns about their teeth or jaw should see a dentist or doctor. Parents who notice their child grinding their teeth or other signs or symptoms of bruxism should mention it at their child's next dental visit.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does clenching cause tinnitus?

Clenching can cause tinnitus. The temporomandibular (jaw joint) is very close to the ear, and damage to this joint can cause tinnitus.

What are the symptoms of teeth grinding?

Pain in the neck, jaw and face, earache or radiating pain in the ear, dull headache that may involve the temples, irritation of the cheeks and gums, sleep disturbance.

Is there a treatment?

Clenching treatment varies according to the patient's expectations, the type of clenching and the severity of the disease. There are many treatment strategies available today.