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J Calif Dent Assoc. 2012 Aug;40(8):670-1, 674-6.

Sleep bruxism, an autonomic self-regulating response by triggering the trigeminal cardiac reflex.

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Craniofacial Pain/TMJ Clinic, White Memorial Medical Center, Los Angeles, USA.


Sleep bruxism, an intensified manifestation of rhythmic masticatory muscle activity, characterized by tooth grinding or clenching during sleep, lacks a definitive physiological purpose. This paper posits that physiologically, sleep bruxism is an autonomic self-regulatory response to nighttime occurrences of tachycardia stemming from the brain experiencing microarousals during sleep. Sleep bruxism by triggering the trigeminal cardiac reflex leads to bradycardia. Rhythmic masticatory muscle activity-sleep bruxism, thereby, serves to slow the heart rate when brain microarousals cause tachycardia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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