Introduction (excerpt): Jaw clenching is a commonly reported behavioral reaction to stress; especially anger, pain, and frustration. Some people clench their teeth when about to push or lift heavy objects. Bruxing most typically occurs during the night, but jaw clenching is often reported as a daytime behavior. Parafunctional behaviors are found in children and adults. These behaviors can produce symptoms when they are excessive in any of the following variables: frequency, intensity or duration.
This article describes some causes and effects of jaw clenching and bruxing, and details strategies to help patients free themselves from these behaviors. It also suggests that the orofacial myologist may be ideally qualified to cooperate with the referring doctor or dentist to help these patients control these behaviors.