International consensus on the assessment of bruxism: Report of a work in progress

J Oral Rehabil. 2018 Nov;45(11):837-844. doi: 10.1111/joor.12663. Epub 2018 Jun 21.


In 2013, consensus was obtained on a definition of bruxism as repetitive masticatory muscle activity characterised by clenching or grinding of the teeth and/or by bracing or thrusting of the mandible and specified as either sleep bruxism or awake bruxism. In addition, a grading system was proposed to determine the likelihood that a certain assessment of bruxism actually yields a valid outcome. This study discusses the need for an updated consensus and has the following aims: (i) to further clarify the 2013 definition and to develop separate definitions for sleep and awake bruxism; (ii) to determine whether bruxism is a disorder rather than a behaviour that can be a risk factor for certain clinical conditions; (iii) to re-examine the 2013 grading system; and (iv) to develop a research agenda. It was concluded that: (i) sleep and awake bruxism are masticatory muscle activities that occur during sleep (characterised as rhythmic or non-rhythmic) and wakefulness (characterised by repetitive or sustained tooth contact and/or by bracing or thrusting of the mandible), respectively; (ii) in otherwise healthy individuals, bruxism should not be considered as a disorder, but rather as a behaviour that can be a risk (and/or protective) factor for certain clinical consequences; (iii) both non-instrumental approaches (notably self-report) and instrumental approaches (notably electromyography) can be employed to assess bruxism; and (iv) standard cut-off points for establishing the presence or absence of bruxism should not be used in otherwise healthy individuals; rather, bruxism-related masticatory muscle activities should be assessed in the behaviour's continuum.

Keywords: assessment; awake bruxism; bruxism; clinical inspection; cut-off points; definition; electromyography; polysomnography; self-report; sleep bruxism.

MeSH terms

  • Bruxism / classification*
  • Bruxism / diagnosis*
  • Bruxism / etiology
  • Consensus
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Electromyography
  • Humans
  • Masticatory Muscles / physiopathology*
  • Polysomnography
  • Sleep / physiology*
  • Wakefulness / physiology*