2017 Volume 59 Issue 3 Pages 337-342
The aim of this study was to investigate the occlusal contact area (OCA) in individual teeth during low-level tooth clenching in 24 healthy participants. Before measurements were made, the 100% maximum voluntary contraction (MVC) was determined. At baseline, all subjects were instructed to close their mouth and touch the opposing teeth with minimal force. Occlusal contact was recorded during three jaw motor tasks (baseline, 20% MVC, and 40% MVC) using a blue silicone material. OCA thickness was determined from images and defined on five levels: level 1 (0-149 µm), level 2 (0-89 µm), level 3 (0-49 µm), level 4 (0-29 µm), and level 5 (0-4 µm). Premolar and molar OCAs increased significantly from baseline to 20% MVC and 40% MVC. The OCA of each anterior tooth did not change significantly with increasing clenching intensity at all levels. Our findings suggest that premolar and molar OCAs may be altered by low-intensity clenching, affecting the teeth and periodontal tissues.