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Etymology: ME, clenchen
the clamping and pressing of the jaws and teeth together in centric occlusion, frequently associated with acute nervous tension or physical effort, such as pushing or lifting a heavy object or performing a difficult task. See also bruxism.


1. Forcible, repeated contraction of the jaw muscles with the teeth in contact. This causes pulsating, bilateral contractions of the temporalis and pterygomasseteric muscles. It may be done consciously, subconsciously while awake, or during sleep. See: bruxism
2. Tightly closing the fist.


Nonfunctional tooth clamping in centric occlusion.

clenching (klen´ching),

n the nonfunctional, forceful intermittent application of the mandibular teeth against the maxillary teeth. It can become habitual and cause damage to the periodontium.
References in periodicals archive ?
Thousand Oaks 0, Royal 0: Goalkeeper Kenny Negrone stopped five shots to help Thousand Oaks (15-4-1, 10-0-4) earn the tie, clinching the Marmonte League title.
Crespi 21, Notre Dame 9: Senior goalkeeper Ryan Martin increased his Southern Section career save total to 1,110 as host Crespi of Encino (17-5, 5-2) moved within a win of clinching second place in the Mission League.
SEATTLE - In 2000, the Seattle Mariners celebrated clinching the American League wild-card berth with a victory over the Angels in Anaheim.
And no one is more pleased than Kenny Bernstein, who put the finishing touches on what he called his best season by winning the 37th annual Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals and clinching his second Top Fuel championship at Pomona Fairplex.