Awake Bruxism-Single-Point Self-Report versus Ecological Momentary Assessment

J Clin Med. 2021 Apr 15;10(8):1699. doi: 10.3390/jcm10081699.


Assessment of awake bruxism (AB) is problematic due to the inability to use continuous recordings during daytime activities. Recently, a new semi-instrumental approach was suggested, namely, ecological momentary assessment (EMA), via the use of a smartphone application. With the application, subjects are requested to report, at least 12 times per day, the status of their masticatory muscle activity (relaxed muscles, muscle bracing without tooth contact, teeth contact, teeth clenching, or teeth grinding). The aim of the present study was to test the association between a single observation point self-report and EMA assessment of AB. The most frequent condition recorded by the EMA was relaxed muscles (ca. 60%) and the least frequent was teeth grinding (less than 1%). The relaxed muscle condition also showed the lowest coefficient of variance over a seven-day period of report. Additionally, only the relaxed muscles and the muscle bracing conditions presented an acceptable ability to assess AB-positive and AB-negative subjects, as defined by single-point self-report questions. The combination between self-report and EMA may have the potential to promote our ability to assess AB. We suggest to re-consider the conditions of teeth contact and teeth grinding while using EMA to evaluate AB.

Keywords: awake bruxism; ecological momentary assessment; self-report; smartphone application.