Bruxism in Children and Adolescents with Down Syndrome: A Comprehensive Review

Medicina (Kaunas). 2021 Mar 1;57(3):224. doi: 10.3390/medicina57030224.


The role of bruxism in children and adolescents with Down syndrome, the most often diagnosed congenital syndrome, is still unclear. Therefore, this study aims to conduct a narrative review of the literature about bruxism in children and adolescents with Down syndrome to identify the prevalence, risk factors, and possible treatments of this disorder. Although an accurate estimate of its prevalence could not be inferred, it appears that bruxism is more prevalent in Down syndrome individuals rather than in the general pediatric population. No gender difference was observed, but a reduction in its prevalence was described with increasing age (around 12 years). The variability in the diagnostic techniques contributed to the heterogeneity of the literature data. Clinicopathological features of Down syndrome, such as muscle spasticity, oral breathing, and a predisposition to obstructive sleep apnea, may suggest a higher prevalence of bruxism in this patient group. Finally, given the paucity of studies on the management of bruxism in this population, it was not possible to outline a standard protocol for the non-invasive treatment of cases in which an observational approach is not sufficient.

Keywords: Down syndrome; adolescents; awake bruxism; bruxism; children; obstructive sleep apnea; sleep bruxism.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Down Syndrome* / complications
  • Down Syndrome* / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Sleep Apnea, Obstructive*
  • Sleep Bruxism*