Grinding the teeth. More formally called "bruxism." Gnashing, or bruxism, is due to clenching of the teeth other than in chewing and is associated with forceful lateral or protrusive jaw movements. This results in grinding or rubbing the teeth together. Gnashing usually occurs during sleep. It is sometimes so excessive that it damages the occlusal surfaces of the teeth, particularly the molar teeth, and may contribute to the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) syndrome. The word "gnashing" comes from the Old Norse and likely is an example of onomatopoeia, an action named for the sound associated with it.
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The grinding together of the teeth as a nonmasticatory function; sometimes associated with emotional tension. SEE ALSO: bruxism.

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • Gnashing — Gnash Gnash, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Gnashed}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Gnashing}.] [OE. gnasten, gnaisten, cf. Icel. gnastan a gnashing, gn?sta to gnash, Dan.knaske, Sw. gnissla, D. knarsen, G. knirschen.] To strike together, as in anger or pain; as, to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • gnashing — gnash|ing [ næʃıŋ ] noun (weeping, wailing and) gnashing of teeth OFTEN HUMOROUS words or actions that show that you are very angry or upset …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • gnashing — UK [ˈnæʃɪŋ] / US noun (wailing and) gnashing of teeth often humorous words or actions that show that you are very angry or upset …   English dictionary

  • gnashing of teeth — anger, complaining    When the hospital closed, there was much gnashing of teeth …   English idioms

  • gnashing of teeth — humorous angry complaining. There was much gnashing of teeth over his omission in the England squad …   New idioms dictionary

  • gnashing — adj. grinding of the teeth næʃ v. grind the teeth together (in anger or pain) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • GNASHING — …   Useful english dictionary

  • gnashing one's teeth — grinding one s teeth in anger …   English contemporary dictionary

  • (wailing and) gnashing of teeth — often humorous phrase words or actions that show that you are very angry or upset Thesaurus: anger and annoyancesynonym sadness and unhappinesssynonym Main entry: gnashing …   Useful english dictionary

  • weeping and wailing and gnashing of teeth — noun consternation, worry …   Wiktionary

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