Reduction of sleep bruxism using a mandibular advancement device: an experimental controlled study

Int J Prosthodont. 2006 Nov-Dec;19(6):549-56.


Purpose: The objective of this experimental study was to compare the effect on sleep bruxism and tooth-grinding activity of a double-arch temporary custom-fit mandibular advancement device (MAD) and a single maxillary occlusal splint (MOS).

Materials and methods: Thirteen intense and frequent bruxors participated in this short-term randomized crossover controlled study. All polygraphic recordings and analyses were made in a sleep laboratory. The MOS was used as the active control condition and the MAD was used as the experimental treatment condition. Designed to temporarily manage snoring and sleep apnea, the MAD was used in 3 different configurations: (1) without the retention pin between the arches (full freedom of movement), (2) with the retention pin in a slightly advanced position (< 40%), and (3) with the retention pin in a more advanced position (> 75%) of the lower arch. Sleep variables, bruxism-related motor activity, and subjective reports (pain, comfort, oral salivation, and quality of sleep) were analyzed with analysis of variance and the Friedman test.

Results: A significant reduction in the number of sleep bruxism episodes per hour (decrease of 42%, P < .001) was observed with the MOS. Compared to the MOS, active MADs (with advancement) also revealed a significant reduction in sleep bruxism motor activity. However, 8 of 13 patients reported pain (localized on mandibular gums and/or anterior teeth) with active MADs.

Conclusions: Short-term use of a temporary custom-fit MAD is associated with a remarkable reduction in sleep bruxism motor activity. To a smaller extent, the MOS also reduces sleep bruxism. However, the exact mechanism supporting this reduction remains to be explained. Hypotheses are oriented toward the following: dimension and configuration of the appliance, presence of pain, reduced freedom of movement, or change in the upper airway patency.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bruxism / physiopathology
  • Bruxism / prevention & control
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Facial Pain / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mandibular Advancement / instrumentation*
  • Motor Activity / physiology
  • Occlusal Splints
  • Orthodontic Appliance Design
  • Orthodontic Appliances
  • Polysomnography
  • Salivation / physiology
  • Sleep / physiology
  • Sleep Bruxism / physiopathology
  • Sleep Bruxism / prevention & control*
  • Surface Properties