Orthodontist Questions Clenching teeth

Can clenching my teeth cause them to erode?

I have a habit of clenching my teeth, and now I'm noticing a slight change in my teeth structure. Could it be because of my habit? Can clenching cause the teeth to erode?

10 Answers

Yes. What you're describing sounds like an abfraction lesion due to over-loading
Yes, "clenching and grinding" or what dentist call "Bruxism" can cause loss of tooth structure which is called "attrition" due to teeth excessively wearing down. This can lead to tooth sensitivity, fractured teeth and TMJ/TMD among other related issues. A good place to start with your dentist is a night guard.
Taken to an extreme, teeth are more likely to break than erode with clenching. However, seldom does one clench their teeth without the associated grinding, also known as bruxism.
Grinding or bruxism wears the teeth, and leaves marks on them depending on the severity and the time. Erosion is normally caused by another issue, such as gastric reflux disease, but to the untrained eye, the effects may appear similar.
Clenching and grinding of teeth can result in wear, termed "attrition". In some cases this can lead to severe loss of tooth structure and changes in occlusion. I would highly encourage you to see your dentist regarding this to assess for any other underlying problems.
Clenching can lead to cracks and breakdown of teeth and along with grinding can wear the enamel down. In addition, Clenching can lead to jaw problems which can then lead to a wearing of teeth.
Yes. They can wear on the linguals of the upper incisors and edges of the lower anteriors. Posterior teeth also will show signs of wearing down.
A parafunctional habit like clenching or grinding can definitely cause the teeth (enamel) to abrade, or wear down. So if you ARE clenching or grinding, it is a good idea to wear a vacuum-formed retainer, or a mouthguard, or SOMETHING in between the teeth to prevent you from having enamel - enamel contact! This will stop the teeth from wearing down!
Yes, and crack and chip. Have an occlusal splint made to wear at night to protect your teeth from nocturnal bruxism and relax your muscles.
Yes, a clenching or grinding habit, especially at night time, can cause trauma to your teeth. Tooth attrition could be due to malocclusion that can lead to teeth sensitivity and TMJ problems.

Dr. H. Nagori, B.D.S, MPA, C.A.G.S (Orthodontics), ABO
Yes, clenching or grinding your teeth can damage them, especially if you do it at night when the forces are much higher than you would use during the day for chewing. This is called a bruxism habit. A clear plastic appliance called a bite splint or night guard that snaps over your teeth can protect them from this habit.