Bruxism today
published in July - December 2022 - in Il Fisioterapista - issue n.2
Giacomo Asquini

Bruxism is defined as the masticatory muscle activity that can occur during sleep or during wakefulness. Sleep bruxism is a masticatory muscle activity during sleep that is characterized as rhythmic (phasic) or non-rhythmic (tonic). Awake bruxism is a masticatory muscle activity during wakefulness that is characterized by repetitive or sustained tooth contact and/or bracing or thrusting of the mandible. When present in otherwise healthy individuals, both forms of bruxism are not considered movement disorders and/or sleep disorders. According to the latest evidence, the etiology of bruxism is related to the role of biological, physiological and psychosocial factors. The evaluation of bruxism aims to classify it as possible, probable or certain through the subjective, clinical and instrumental assessment of the patient. According to the different assessment methods used in past years, the prevalence of awake bruxism ranges from 22% to 30% in the adult population, while that of sleep bruxism ranges from 8% to 15%. Therapeutic interventions should not address bruxism as such, but the potential outcomes of bruxism (e.g., damage to dental structures and/or pain).