Objectives: To investigate the association of smoking with bruxism while controlling for genetic and environmental factors using a co-twin-control design. Especially, the role of nicotine dependence was studied in this context.
Methods: The material derives from the Finnish Twin Cohort consisting of 12,502 twin individuals who responded to a questionnaire in 1990 (response rate of 77%). All were born in 1930-1957, the mean age being 44 years. The questionnaire covered 103 multiple choice questions, 7 dealing with tobacco use and 22 with sleep and vigilance matters, including perceived bruxism. In addition, a subsample derived from the Nicotine Addiction Genetics Finland Study containing 445 twin individuals was studied.
Results: In age- and gender-controlled multinomial logistic regression, both monthly and rarely reported bruxism associated with both current cigarette smoking (odds ratio [OR] = 1.74 and 1.64) and former cigarette smoking (OR = 1.64 and 1.47). Weekly bruxism associated with current smoking (OR = 2.85). Current smokers smoking 20 or more cigarettes a day reported weekly bruxism more likely (OR = 1.61-1.97) than those smoking less. Among twin pairs (N = 142) in which one twin was a weekly bruxer and the cotwin a never bruxer, there were 13 monozygotic pairs in which one twin was a current smoker and the other twin was not. In all cases, the bruxer was the smoker (p = .0003). Nicotine dependence associated significantly with bruxism.
Conclusions: Our twin study provides novel evidence for a possible causal link between tobacco use and bruxism among middle-aged adults. Nicotine dependence may be a significant predisposing factor for bruxism.