The only time your teeth are supposed to touch is when you swallow. Even when you chew, there is food between your teeth. If you catch yourself with your teeth together, you are clenching. Even lightly holding or rubbing your teeth together can, over time, fatigue your muscles, wear down your teeth, and potentially cause problems in your jaw joints.
Grinding your teeth is an even more destructive process that is triggered by an imbalanced bite. Back teeth are designed to support a tremendous amount of pressure along their long axis. Like a hammer and nail, if the forces are in the right direction, your teeth will remain stable. However, if they hit on an angle, they can fracture, split, or become loose.
In an ideal occlusion, back teeth only touch when you are fully closed, with the direction of force going straight down their roots. With careful planning and strict attention to detail, Dr. Forgosh can find the easiest way to establish a perfected bite where all your teeth come together evenly with the joints seated comfortably in their sockets, and the muscles calm and relaxed. He can establish “mutually protected occlusion” that provides no way to rub your back teeth together.