Bruxism – literature review

Nélio Veiga, Tânia Angelo, Octávio Ribeiro, André Baptista

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Introduction: Bruxism is an oral parafunction prevalent in all age groups which is characterized by the involuntary teeth grinding and/or clenching that may occur at any time of the day. It has a multifactorial etiology associated with occlusal and psychological factors and / or habits that can compromise the orthognatic system that may bring negative consequences. Objective: To make a revision article from the existing literature on the etiological factors, clinical manifestations and treatment of bruxism. Materials and methods: Data search was accomplished using Pubmed and ScienceDirect databases applying the keywords “bruxism”, “etiology and symptoms”, “attrition injuries”, “teeth grinding”, “muscular-articular disorders”, “TMJ dysfunction”. From the 102 articles, after analysis of all the abstracts, 34 articles and 4 textbooks were included. Results: The main consequences of bruxism are muscle fatigue, pain, use of incisal edges and occlusal surfaces of the teeth, and in more severe cases teeth loss, headache, periodontal lesions and temporomandibular joint disorders (TMJ disorders). These clinical manifestations may increase the difficulty of oral rehabilitation of edentulous areas and teeth restoration. They may also cause vertical dimension loss and the decrease of patients’ quality of life. Early diagnosis and identification of the etiologic factors are important to prevent the progression of lesions in the orofacial structures such as pain relief of the craniofacial muscles, restoration of the lost structures and reestablishment of vertical dimension. Conclusion: Bruxism presents a high frequency in all age groups and has become an important oral health issue. This parafunctional habit consists in an important change in the oral sensory-motor system, requiring a multidisciplinary approach, in order to reduce injuries in osteodental structures. Lately, its prevalence has increased and is associated with several factors such as stress, drugs, anxiety and sleep disorders, among others. The dentist should be aware of the signs and symptoms in order to prescribe the best treatment, providing the patients a better quality of life.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages5
JournalInternational Journal of Dentistry and Oral Health
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 4 Sept 2015


  • Bruxism
  • Teeth grinding
  • Muscular-articular disorders


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