Clenching and grinding are generally the unintentional jaw movements of the person during sleep. Many individuals who grind and clench their teeth are unaware that they have such a habit. So, what are the reasons for clenching and grinding? How is the treatment of clenching and grinding?


Causes of Clenching and Teeth Grinding

Stress: Stress is one of the most important reasons for clenching and grinding. Being extremely meticulous, sensitive and nervous is also one of the factors of clenching and grinding.

Malocclusion: Impairment of teeth, in other words, malocclusion occurs due to development, old prosthesis or fillings. Tooth alignment is one of the reasons for clenching and grinding.

Symptoms and Damages of Clenching and Teeth Grinding

As the teeth are constantly in contact with each other during tooth grinding and clenching, enamel losses and wearing occur on the chewing surfaces of the teeth. These wear on the chewing surfaces of the teeth is more apparent on the anterior teeth than the other teeth. As these abrasions progress rapidly, sensitivity to hot and cold occurs in the teeth.

As a result of clenching and grinding teeth, gingival recessions and notches on the hard tissues of the teeth occur. Because of the notches in these hard tissues of the tooth, sensitivity occurs in the teeth and the tooth may break if it progresses.

Clenching and grinding teeth are carried out without the person noticing during sleep. Doing these chin movements all night will cause you to get tired in the morning, headaches, muscle aches in your cheeks. In addition, the jaw joint will be locked and sounds crackling.

As the clenching and grinding of the teeth occur in a continuous bite movement, irritations and a white striped line occur in the cheek where the teeth come into contact with each other.

Micro-cracks occur both on the cutting edge of the front teeth and on the protruding area of the rear teeth due to tooth grinding. These cracks in the teeth cause the teeth to break and tooth losses.

Treatment of Teeth Clenching and Grinding

The most important goal of clenching and grinding is to protect the jaw joint, prevent abrasion of the teeth, eliminate headache and muscle pain on cheeks.

During the night sleep, we can prevent clenching and grinding of the teeth and the results of these movements only by cutting the contact between the teeth by using silicone plates. These plates are called nightguards. If the patient sleeps with a night guard, grinding won't harm the patient's teeth.

Muscle relaxants and sleep regulators are used in the advanced stages of dental clenching and grinding teeth. Old or faulty fillings and prostheses are renewed and missing teeth are treated with appropriate dentures.


Patients with teeth grinding problems generally ask for dental veneers or dental crowns, and they think they can't have veneers. Patients with a grinding problem might have veneers, but they should protect their teeth with a night guard. If not, veneers will be damaged over time. 

Dr Dt Uğur Gültekinler
Article written by
Dr Dt Uğur Gültekinler