Bruxism is a repetitive masticatory muscles activity whose definition is being thoroughly reviewed in recent years. As in adults, two different forms of bruxism exist in children, namely awake and sleep bruxism. Scarcity of data, however,still persists about paediatric bruxism and no clear consensus has been developed. Therefore, the current review overviews the literature on bruxism in children tries to outline the state of art about this condition
Bruxism affects from 5% to 50% of the worldwide paediatric population. Sleep disturbances, parafunctional habits and psycho-social factors emerged to be the most likely associated factors with paediatric bruxism. Bruxism is characterised by several signs and symptoms variously combined, such as tooth wear and fractures, teeth impressions on soft tissues, temporomandibular disorders, headaches, behavioural and sleep disorders. About diagnosis, the most reliable tool in children remains the report of teeth grinding by parents or caregivers which must be accompanied by oral interview and accurate clinical examination. Electromyography and sleep polysomnography, albeit suitable in the diagnostic process, are not easy-to-use in children and are not strongly recommended. Currently, no evidence exists to support any kind of therapeutic options for bruxism in children. Management should be based on the identification of the underlying condition and conservative approaches are recommendable.
Notwithstanding the high prevalence, several aspects need to be further assessed in paediatric bruxism. Parental reports are still the most suitable diagnostic tool and conservative approaches are recommended in the management. Bruxism should be considered through a biopsychosocial model, and sleep, personality traits, stress and headaches are the factors towards whom research questions must be addressed to improve diagnosis and management.
Vol.24 – n.3/2023
Harvard: M. Storari, M. Serri, M. Aprile, G. Denotti, D. Viscuso (2023) "Bruxism in children: What do we know? Narrative Review of the current evidence", European Journal of Paediatric Dentistry, 24(3), pp207-210. doi: 10.23804/ejpd.2023.24.03.02
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