clench your teeth in the daytime

Clench your teeth during the day: what causes and what consequences

Clenching your teeth during the day could be a frequent behavior that you are not aware of. It is in fact bruxism in all respects, a pathology that can only be corrected thanks to the intervention of a dental treatment.

Bruxism by day

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Unlike night bruxism, there are not many studies or researches on bruxism during the day or on clenching the teeth during the day. For this reason, a multidisciplinary team of researchers, including dentists, psychologists, gnathologists, evaluated a series of strategies on how to intervene in the case of awake bruxism.

Let’s start from the definition, from a scientific point of view, clenching your teeth during the day is a symptom of a behavior that is defined as follows:

masticatory muscle activity during wakefulness characterized by repetitive or sustained contact between the teeth and / or clenching of the jaws that does not disturb movement in healthy individuals.

Clenching your teeth during the day is not necessarily a pathology that has clinical consequences, to determine whether or not it is a pathological behavior it is important to undergo a dental examination to define some important parameters:

  • how often the patient clenches his teeth during the day;
  • psychological factors (anxiety, depression …);
  • presence of other diseases;
  • muscle fatigue;
  • wear of dental enamel.

Grinding and clenching of teeth during the day: a research to evaluate its frequency

In the scientific journal Journal of Oral Rehabilitation of September 2021, some Italian researchers have evaluated the frequency of bruxism during the day in an extemporaneous way thanks to an application on the smartphone.

The sample taken into consideration was composed of 153 healthy subjects aged between 22 and 26 years, the parameters taken into consideration for the evaluation of bruxism during the day were:

healthy teeth safe from periodontitis
  • relaxation of the chewing muscles;
  • contact between the teeth;
  • contracture of the jaw;
  • clenching of teeth;
  • teeth grinding.

During the research phase, the APP sent 20 alerts a day at random times for seven days; upon receipt of the notice, the subjects had to report their responses in real time, taking into account the parameters listed above.

How many patients clench their teeth during the day?
The results of the research:

  • relaxation of the chewing muscles in 76.4% of cases;
  • contact between the teeth in 13.6% of cases;
  • mandibular contracture in 7% of cases;
  • clenching of teeth in 2.5% of cases;
  • teeth grinding in 0.5% of cases.

Muscle relaxation was more frequent in men than in women, contact between the teeth is instead the most widespread anomalous behavior, obviously it is a research that will have to be confirmed in other studies, being healthy individuals it will be interesting to investigate how much more frequent it is. clench the teeth in patients who have other types of pathologies.