Journal of Prosthetic Dentistry

Association between sleep bruxism and gastroesophageal reflux disease

Published:September 06, 2013DOI:

      Statement of problem

      Rhythmic masticatory muscle activity, including sleep bruxism (SB), can be induced in healthy individuals by experimental esophageal acidification, which plays an important role in the pathogenesis of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, no robust evidence supports the association between SB and GERD.


      The purpose of this study was to investigate the association between SB and GERD.

      Material and methods

      Forty-five individuals were eligible to participate in this observational transversal study at the Gastroenterology Service of the Clinical Hospital of Porto Alegre, Brazil. The participants were classified into 2 groups, those with and without GERD, according to the Montreal Criteria and pH-metry/endoscopy findings. The diagnosis of SB was not assessed in a sleep laboratory but was based on self-report plus clinical inspection, according to the minimal diagnostic criteria of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine. The Lipp Stress Symptom Inventory was used to evaluate self-perceived stress. Univariate and multiple logistic regression analyses were performed with SB as dependent variable and GERD, sex, age, body mass index, and stress as predictors (α=.05; 90% power).


      The study population included individuals with SB without GERD (13.3%) and individuals with SB with GERD (31.1%). In participants with GERD, the prevalence of SB was 73.7%. Only the variable GERD was significantly associated with SB (P=.017; odds ratio 6.58; 95% confidence interval 1.40-30.98), although adjusted for stress and age.


      Sleep bruxism is prevalent in GERD patients, and GERD is highly associated with SB.
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