Bruxism is a habitual or unconscious grinding or clenching of the teeth, which usually happens during sleep. While teeth grinding per se do not pose a major health problem in many cases, bruxism that occurs nocturnally or every night is a sign of sleep disorder and can cause several health issues. The most common symptoms associated with bruxism are damaged teeth, headache, back pain, and knee pain.
Since many bruxism sufferers are not aware that they have the condition, their parents or bed partners are usually the first to notice it because of sound produced by grinding of the teeth. It appears though that bruxism can be classified into two types—"teeth grinding" and "teeth clenching". Teeth grinding is a type of bruxism wherein the jaws move while the teeth are held together.

On the other hand, teeth clenching, as the name implies, is simply the holding of the teeth together while tightening the jaw muscles. Teeth grinding may be referred to as localized bruxism, which means it is a type of bruxism that causes damage around the teeth area.
If left untreated, teeth grinding can result to secondary effects such as "periodontal disease" and "hypersensitivity". During teeth clenching, the body is exerting muscular forces continuously even during sleep.
Even though clenching of the teeth in particular won't produce any sound or cause wear and tear to the teeth, some people can recognize that one is suffering from systemic bruxism very easily. As shown in the photo, severe teeth clenching flexed the tooth due to the strong force that was exerted.

If you will notice, people who are dealing with a stressful situation usually grind or clench their teeth. It's systemic because people who habitually clench their teeth during sleep feel a sense of fatigue in their jaw, neck, and shoulders, when they wake up.
Although this does not cause so much damage to the teeth, it can result in pain not only along the jaw area but to the other parts of the body as well.

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