Bruxism in Acute Neurologic Illness

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2021 Apr 10;25(6):41. doi: 10.1007/s11916-021-00953-4.


Purpose of review: While traditionally encountered in ambulatory settings, bruxism occurs in patients with a variety of acute neurologic illnesses including encephalitis, intracerebral hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and acute ischemic stroke. Untreated bruxism in acute neurologic illness can lead to tooth loss, difficulty in mouth care resulting in recurrent aspiration pneumonia, endotracheal tube dislodgement, and even tongue laceration or amputation. Inpatient clinicians should be aware of the etiologies and management strategies for bruxism secondary to acute neurologic illness.

Recent findings: Management strategies for bruxism are varied and include pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies in addition to onabotulinumtoxinA (BoNT-A). Bruxism impacts patients with a variety of acute neurologic illnesses, and emerging evidence suggests successful and safe treatment strategies.

Keywords: Bruxism; OnabotulinumtoxinA; Teeth grinding; Trismus.

Publication types

  • Review