BRUXISM in children: A warning sign for psychological problems

Bruxism is involuntary, excessive grinding, clenching or rubbing of teeth during nonfunctional movements of the masticatory system. 

Reported prevalence in children ranges from 7% to 15.1%,3–5 with girls apparently more frequently affected.


Bruxism can occur during the day or night. Generally, patients clench their teeth throughout the day and gnash and clench them during sleep.

However, nocturnal bruxism is more frequent; it varies with the individual and has been related to emotional or physical stress. 

Bruxism usually causes tooth wear as evidenced by wear facets that can range from mild to severe and can be localized or found throughout the dentition. 

Other trauma to the dentition and supporting tissues include thermal hypersensitivity, tooth hypermobility, injury to the periodontal ligament and periodontium, hypercementosis, fractured cusps and pulpitis and pulpal necrosis. 

°Andréa Gonçalves Antonio, Viviane Santos da Silva Pierro, Lucianne Cople Maia

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