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“The prevalence of temporomandibular disorders [especially] in children and adolescent varies widely in the literature. Temporomandibular disorders are often defined on the basis of signs and symptoms, of which the most common are: temporomandibular joint sounds, impaired movement of the mandible, limitation in mouth opening, preauricular pain, facial pain, headaches and jaw tenderness on function, having mainly a mild character, fluctuation and progression to severe pain and dysfunction is rare. One of the possible causal factors suggested that temporomandibular disorders… is a functional mandibular overload variable, mainly bruxism. Bruxism, defined as the habitual nonfunctional forceful contact between occlusal tooth surfaces, is involuntary, excessive grinding, clenching or rubbing of teeth during nonfunctional movements of the masticatory system. Its etiology is still controversial but the multifactorial cause has been attributed, including pathophysiologic, psychologic and morphologic factors. Moreover… bruxism may be a consequence of the masticatory neuromuscular system immaturity. Complications include dental attrition, headaches, temporomandibular disorders and masticatory muscle soreness. Some studies have linked oral parafunctional habits to disturbances and diseases of the temporomandibular joint, mainly bruxism, suggesting its association with temporomandibular disorders in the primary and mixed dentition, whereas other authors did not observed respective relationship in primary dentition. The unreliability for the clinical assessment of bruxism also reduces confidence in conclusions about the relationship with temporomandibular disorders.”
Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol.2008 Mar;72(3):299-314. Epub 2008 Jan 3. Temporomandibular disorders and bruxism in childhood and adolescence: review of the literature.
Department of Pediatric Dentistry, Piracicaba Dental School, State University of Campinas, Avenida Limeira 901, CEP 13414-903, Piracicaba, SP, Brazil.