Effect of experimental temporomandibular disorder pain on sleep bruxism: a pilot study in males

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Objectives: Sleep bruxism (SB) is considered to play an important role in the provocation of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain. However, clinical studies investigating this relation yielded contradictory results. These contradictory results can, at least in part, be explained by a possible influence of TMD pain on SB activity. The aim of this experimental study was to assess the effect of TMD pain on SB. Materials and methods: Nine male participants with clinical signs of SB underwent two subsequent baseline ambulatory polysomnographic (PSG) recordings before undergoing an experimental pain provocation protocol. Thirty-two hours after the pain provocation part a third ambulatory PSG recording was obtained to study the effect of pain on SB. Results: Decrease for all bruxism parameters was found between the recording after the provocation part and the second baseline recording. Conclusions: Experimentally induced TMD pain causes a reduction in SB activity in healthy individuals. Clinical relevance: A reduction in sleep bruxism activity was recorded in all participants who experienced jaw-muscle pain. This is in line with the pain adaptation model. It supports the negative association between sleep bruxism and jaw muscle pain reported by numerous polysomnographic studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)103-111
Number of pages9
JournalClinical Oral Investigations
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2020


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