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Sleep Breath. 2014 Mar;18(1):187-93. doi: 10.1007/s11325-013-0868-6. Epub 2013 Jun 18.

Phasic jaw motor episodes in healthy subjects with or without clinical signs and symptoms of sleep bruxism: a pilot study.

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Department of Prosthodontics, Showa University School of Dentistry, 2-1-1, Kitasenzoku, Ohta-ku, Tokyo, 145-8515, Japan.



To investigate the association between each clinical diagnosis criterion for sleep bruxism (SB) and the frequency of jaw motor events during sleep.


Video-polysomnography was performed on 17 healthy adult subjects (mean age, 26.7 ± 2.8 years), with at least one of the following clinical signs and symptoms of SB: (1) a report of frequent tooth grinding, (2) tooth attrition with dentine exposure through at least three occlusal surfaces, (3) morning masticatory muscle symptoms, and (4) masseter muscle hypertrophy. Episodes of rhythmic masticatory muscle activity (RMMA) and isolated tonic activity were scored visually. These variables were compared with regards to the presence or absence of each clinical sign and symptom.


In 17 subjects, 4.0 ± 2.5/h (0.1-10.2) RMMA and 1.0 ± 0.8/h (0-2.4) isolated tonic episodes were observed (total episodes: 5.0 ± 2.4/h (1.2-11.6)). Subjects with self-reported grinding sounds (n=7) exhibited significantly higher numbers of RMMA episodes (5.7 ± 2.3/h) than those without (n=10; 2.8 ± 1.8/h) (p=0.011). Similarly, subjects with tooth attrition (n=6) showed significantly higher number of RMMA episodes (5.6 ± 3.1/h) than those without (n=11; 3.2 ± 1.6/h) (p=0.049). The occurrence of RMMA did not differ between the presence and absence of morning masticatory muscle symptoms or muscle hypertrophy.


Clinical signs and symptoms frequently used for diagnosing SB can represent different clinical and physiological aspects of jaw motor activity during sleep.

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