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Associated factors and treatment options for sleep bruxism in children: an umbrella review

Abstract

Data on clinical management options for sleep bruxism in the primary dentition are inconclusive. This umbrella review aimed to synthesize the available evidence from systematic reviews (SRs) on the associated factors and treatment approaches for clinical management of sleep bruxism in children. A search was conducted in the MEDLINE/PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, and OpenGrey databases up to March 2022. SRs published on sleep bruxism in children containing data on associated factors or treatment outcomes were included. The AMSTAR-2 tool was used to assess the methodological quality of SRs. The search identified 444 articles, of which six were included. Sleep conditions, respiratory changes, personality traits, and psychosocial factors were the associated factors commonly identified. Treatments included psychological and pharmacological therapies, occlusal devices, physical therapy, and surgical therapy. All SRs included presented a high risk of bias. Overlapping of the included studies was considered very high. The best evidence available to date for the management of sleep bruxism in children is based on associated factors, with sleep duration and conditions, respiratory changes, as well as personality traits and psychosocial factors being the most important factors commonly reported by studies. However, there is currently insufficient evidence to make recommendations for specific treatment options.

Tooth, Deciduous; Pediatric Dentistry; Bruxism; Systematic Review; Sleep Bruxism

Introduction

Sleep problems are increasingly common in childhood and can have a negative impact on children’s health, learning, school performance, and quality of life.11. Dahl RE. The impact of inadequate sleep on children’s daytime cognitive function. Semin Pediatr Neurol. 1996 Mar;3(1):44-50. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1071-9091(96)80028-3
https://doi.org/10.1016/S1071-9091(96)80...

2. Carvalho LB, Prado LB, Silva L, Almeida MM, Silva TA, Vieira CM, et al. Cognitive dysfunction in children with sleep disorders. Arq Neuropsiquiatr. 2004 Jun;62(2a 2A):212-6. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X2004000200004
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0004-282X200400...

3. Wong MM, Brower KJ, Fitzgerald HE, Zucker RA. Sleep problems in early childhood and early onset of alcohol and other drug use in adolescence. Alcohol Clin Exp Res. 2004 Apr;28(4):578-87. https://doi.org/10.1097/01.ALC.0000121651.75952.39
https://doi.org/10.1097/01.ALC.000012165...
-44. Paavonen EJ, Solantaus T, Almqvist F, Aronen ET. Four-year follow-up study of sleep and psychiatric symptoms in preadolescents: relationship of persistent and temporary sleep problems to psychiatric symptoms. J Dev Behav Pediatr. 2003 Oct;24(5):307-14. https://doi.org/10.1097/00004703-200310000-00001
https://doi.org/10.1097/00004703-2003100...
Therefore, sleep bruxism, which mean prevalence in primary dentition is estimated to be 19.5%, ranging between 3.5 to 40.5% in different populations, is the focus of studies55. Manfredini D, Restrepo C, Diaz-Serrano K, Winocur E, Lobbezoo F. Prevalence of sleep bruxism in children: a systematic review of the literature. J Oral Rehabil. 2013 Aug;40(8):631-42. https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12069
https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12069...
,66. Machado E, Dal-Fabbro C, Cunali PA, Kaizer OB. Prevalence of sleep bruxism in children: a systematic review. Dental Press J Orthod. 2014 Nov-Dec;19(6):54-61. https://doi.org/10.1590/2176-9451.19.6.054-061.oar
https://doi.org/10.1590/2176-9451.19.6.0...
seeking to understand the factors involved in its occurrence and determine a better therapeutic approach.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...

8. Castroflorio T, Bargellini A, Rossini G, Cugliari G, Rainoldi A, Deregibus A. Risk factors related to sleep bruxism in children: A systematic literature review. Arch Oral Biol. 2015 Nov;60(11):1618-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2015.08.014
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
-99. Restrepo C, Gómez S, Manrique R. Treatment of bruxism in children: a systematic review. Quintessence Int. 2009 Nov-Dec;40(10):849-55.

Factors associated with sleep bruxism include breathing problems, anxiety, stress, snoring, and few hours of sleep.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
,88. Castroflorio T, Bargellini A, Rossini G, Cugliari G, Rainoldi A, Deregibus A. Risk factors related to sleep bruxism in children: A systematic literature review. Arch Oral Biol. 2015 Nov;60(11):1618-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2015.08.014
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
These factors act as a stimulus to the central nervous system, modifying the release of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, which results in repetitive activity of the jaw muscles characterized by clenching or grinding of the teeth and/or supporting or pushing the jaw during sleep.1010. Lobbezoo F, Ahlberg J, Raphael KG, Wetselaar P, Glaros AG, Kato T, et al. International consensus on the assessment of bruxism: report of a work in progress. J Oral Rehabil. 2018 Nov;45(11):837-44. https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12663
https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12663...

Consequently, this phenomenon has been associated with several disorders, such as dental problems and orofacial pain.1010. Lobbezoo F, Ahlberg J, Raphael KG, Wetselaar P, Glaros AG, Kato T, et al. International consensus on the assessment of bruxism: report of a work in progress. J Oral Rehabil. 2018 Nov;45(11):837-44. https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12663
https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12663...
,1111. Serra-Negra JM, Paiva SM, Auad SM, Ramos-Jorge ML, Pordeus IA. Signs, symptoms, parafunctions and associated factors of parent-reported sleep bruxism in children: a case-control study. Braz Dent J. 2012;23(6):746-52. https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-64402012000600020
https://doi.org/10.1590/S0103-6440201200...
Besides, bruxism has been considered a risk factor for dental restoration failures in adults.1212. Sande FH, Collares K, Correa MB, Cenci MS, Demarco FF, Opdam N. Restoration survival: revisiting patients’ risk factors through a systematic literature review. Oper Dent. 2016 Sep;41 S7:S7-26. https://doi.org/10.2341/15-120-LIT
https://doi.org/10.2341/15-120-LIT...
Thus, its management is a challenge for dentists.

Sleep bruxism in adults has been the focus of systematic reviews (SRs) that provided information on possible treatment strategies.55. Manfredini D, Restrepo C, Diaz-Serrano K, Winocur E, Lobbezoo F. Prevalence of sleep bruxism in children: a systematic review of the literature. J Oral Rehabil. 2013 Aug;40(8):631-42. https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12069
https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12069...
However, data on the clinical management options, associated factors, and treatment alternatives on the primary dentition are not clear. SRs on the topic have been conducted, but the management strategies evaluated differ between them, making the clinical approach in patients in this age group challenging.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...

8. Castroflorio T, Bargellini A, Rossini G, Cugliari G, Rainoldi A, Deregibus A. Risk factors related to sleep bruxism in children: A systematic literature review. Arch Oral Biol. 2015 Nov;60(11):1618-24. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2015.08.014
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
-99. Restrepo C, Gómez S, Manrique R. Treatment of bruxism in children: a systematic review. Quintessence Int. 2009 Nov-Dec;40(10):849-55. The umbrella review, which summarizes the multiple approaches evaluated in SRs and provides a comprehensive overview of a specific research topic, is an accessible tool to guide decision-making by health providers and identify research gaps.1313. Seifo N, Cassie H, Radford JR, Innes NP. Silver diamine fluoride for managing carious lesions: an umbrella review. BMC Oral Health. 2019 Jul;19(1):145. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-019-0830-5
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-019-0830-...
,1414. Caird J, Sutcliffe K, Kwan I, Dickson K, Thomas J. Mediating policy-relevant evidence at speed: are systematic reviews of systematic reviews a useful approach. Evid Policy. 2015;11(1):81-97. https://doi.org/10.1332/174426514X13988609036850
https://doi.org/10.1332/174426514X139886...

This umbrella review aimed to synthesize the available evidence from SRs about the associated factors and treatment approaches for the clinical management of sleep bruxism in children with primary dentition.

Methodology

Study design

This umbrella review was registered on the PROSPERO (International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews) platform (#CRD42019131446), conducted according to the Joanna Briggs Institute1515. Aromataris E, Fernandez R, Godfrey CM, Holly C, Khalil H, Tungpunkom P. Summarizing systematic reviews: methodological development, conduct and reporting of an umbrella review approach. Int J Evid-Based Healthc. 2015 Sep;13(3):132-40. https://doi.org/10.1097/XEB.0000000000000055
https://doi.org/10.1097/XEB.000000000000...
guideline and reported based on the PRISMA Statement checklist.1616. Moher D, Liberati A, Tetzlaff J, Altman DG; PRISMA Group. Preferred reporting items for systematic reviews and meta-analyses: the PRISMA statement. PLoS Med. 2009 Jul;6(7):e1000097. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.1000097
https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.100...

Two researchers performed the processes of article screening, data collection, and risk of bias analysis independently (SS e TKT). A researcher with experience in SRs solved cases of conflict or doubt (TG).

Study sources

The systematic search for available SRs was conducted in the MEDLINE/PubMed, Web of Science, and Embase electronic databases. The grey literature was searched through the OpenGrey platform. The reference list of potentially eligible studies was also screened to search for relevant articles that may have not been identified in the database search. There were no restrictions on the language of publication or publication date for study selection. The last search was carried out on March 11, 2022.

Search strategy

The search strategies were based on the PI(E)O question: “What are the associated factors and treatment options for the clinical management of sleep bruxism in children with primary dentition?” (Participants: children with sleep bruxism in primary dentition; Intervention/Exposure: treatments available and associated factors; Outcome: the success of clinical management), which was developed for MEDLINE/Pubmed database and adapted for the others. The search strategies are displayed in Table 1. The results from the different databases were cross-referenced using Microsoft Excel software for Mac (Microsoft Corporation, Washington, USA) to locate and eliminate duplicates.

Table 1
Search strategies for all databases.

Eligibility criteria

Initially, the titles and abstracts of potentially relevant studies identified in the databases were evaluated based on the following inclusion criteria:

  1. Focused on sleep bruxism;

  2. Evaluated children with an unremarkable health history;

  3. Was an SR.

After the first evaluation, the articles that met the inclusion criteria were reviewed in full text. Then, those that met at least one of the following exclusion criteria were considered ineligible:

  1. No data on primary dentition;

  2. Did not evaluate associated factors or treatment success.

Data extraction and synthesis

The same two reviewers entered the information required from the eligible studies independently and in duplicate in structured tables. Doubts and discrepancies were discussed and, when a consensus was not possible, a third examiner was consulted. For each included study, the following data were systematically recorded: publication details (author and year), protocol registration (yes or no), number of articles included, databases used, date of search, number of reviewers, languages considered, design of eligible and included studies, bruxism assessment criteria considered by included primary articles, associated factors or treatments evaluated (as well as the measured outcome), methodological quality analysis or risk of bias assessment (yes or no and the tool used), and statistical synthesis of the data/meta-analysis (yes or no).

For data synthesis, the results (odds ratio and 95% confidence interval) of associated factors and treatment options were considered from the pooled data of at least two studies.

Methodological quality and risk of bias assessment

The methodological assessment of the included SRs was carried out using the AMSTAR-2 tool, which classifies the confidence of the studies as high, moderate, low, or critically low1717. Shea BJ, Reeves BC, Wells G, Thuku M, Hamel C, Moran J, et al. AMSTAR 2: a critical appraisal tool for systematic reviews that include randomised or non-randomised studies of healthcare interventions, or both. BMJ. 2017 Sep;358:j4008. https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4008
https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.j4008...
. The risk of bias analysis was performed using the ROBIS tool. The final score of risk of bias was classified as low, high, or unclear.1818. Whiting P, Savović J, Higgins JP, Caldwell DM, Reeves BC, Shea B, et al.; ROBIS group. ROBIS: A new tool to assess risk of bias in systematic reviews was developed. J Clin Epidemiol. 2016 Jan;69:225-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015.06.005
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jclinepi.2015....

Overlap degree of studies included in systematic reviews

Citation matrices were generated to assess the overlap degree of studies included across the SRs. Corrected Covered Areas (CCAs) were calculated, with study overlaps being classified as slight (0–5), moderate (6-10), high (11–15), or very high (> 15).1313. Seifo N, Cassie H, Radford JR, Innes NP. Silver diamine fluoride for managing carious lesions: an umbrella review. BMC Oral Health. 2019 Jul;19(1):145. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-019-0830-5
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-019-0830-...
,1919. Pieper D, Antoine SL, Mathes T, Neugebauer EA, Eikermann M. Systematic review finds overlapping reviews were not mentioned in every other overview. J Clin Epidemiol. 2014 Apr;67(4):368-75.

Results

Selection of studies

The search identified 444 potentially relevant studies: 115 from MEDLINE/PubMed, 69 from Web of Science, and 260 from Embase. No potentially eligible studies were found on the OpenGrey platform. One hundred and twenty-one were duplicated in more than one database. After screening the title and abstract, 301 studies were considered ineligible. The main reason for non-inclusion was that the studies were not in children with an unremarkable health history (38.9%). Twenty-two remaining studies were fully analyzed for the collection of more detailed information. Eleven studies were excluded because they did not present data about associated factors or treatment success for sleep bruxism in the primary dentition. Finally, six studies met the eligibility criteria and were included in the umbrella review — three focusing on associated factors and three on treatment options. The selection process of the SRs is shown in Figure.

Figure
Flow diagram of identification, screening, and eligibility of studies.

Characteristics of systematic reviews

Table 2 presents the main characteristics collected from the SRs. Three SRs focused on associated factors for sleep bruxism evaluation. No study mentioned the registration of the protocol. The searches took place between 2014 and 2016. The number of studies included in the SRs ranged between 7 and 18. All studies performed the search in PubMed and at least two more databases. Besides, all studies had two independent reviewers and had the help of a third researcher when there was no agreement, and also reported a methodological quality analysis or a risk of bias assessment. Only one study did not restrict the language in which the study was published.2020. Canto GL, Singh V, Conti P, Dick BD, Gozal D, Major PW, et al. Association between sleep bruxism and psychosocial factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 May;54(5):469-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976
https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976...
However, the same study did not carry out a meta-analysis or statistical synthesis of the data.2020. Canto GL, Singh V, Conti P, Dick BD, Gozal D, Major PW, et al. Association between sleep bruxism and psychosocial factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 May;54(5):469-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976
https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976...
Questionnaire for parents or guardians was the assessment method more commonly used in the included studies.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
,2121. Guo H, Wang T, Li X, Ma Q, Niu X, Qiu J. What sleep behaviors are associated with bruxism in children? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Breath. 2017 Dec;21(4):1013-23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-3
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-...

Table 2
Characteristics of systematic reviews included according to study focus.

The objective of one study was to evaluate several factors associated to sleep bruxism,77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
one study assessed the association of sleep bruxism with psychosocial factors,2020. Canto GL, Singh V, Conti P, Dick BD, Gozal D, Major PW, et al. Association between sleep bruxism and psychosocial factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 May;54(5):469-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976
https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976...
and the other study evaluated the association between sleep behaviors and sleep bruxism.2121. Guo H, Wang T, Li X, Ma Q, Niu X, Qiu J. What sleep behaviors are associated with bruxism in children? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Breath. 2017 Dec;21(4):1013-23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-3
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-...
Sleep condition was commonly associated with sleep bruxism in the included studies.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
,2121. Guo H, Wang T, Li X, Ma Q, Niu X, Qiu J. What sleep behaviors are associated with bruxism in children? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Breath. 2017 Dec;21(4):1013-23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-3
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-...
Personality traits and emotional problems were also associated.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...

Three other studies focused on treatment options for sleep bruxism. No study mentioned the registration of the protocol. The searches took place between 2007 and 2019. The number of articles included in the SRs ranged between two99. Restrepo C, Gómez S, Manrique R. Treatment of bruxism in children: a systematic review. Quintessence Int. 2009 Nov-Dec;40(10):849-55. and seventeen.2323. Chisini LA, San Martin AS, Cademartori MG, Boscato N, Correa MB, Goettems ML. Interventions to reduce bruxism in children and adolescents: a systematic scoping review and critical reflection. Eur J Pediatr. 2020 Feb;179(2):177-89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549-8
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549...
One SR included ten primary studies, but only three presented data for meta-analysis and were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively.2222. Ierardo G, Mazur M, Luzzi V, Calcagnile F, Ottolenghi L, Polimeni A. Treatments of sleep bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cranio. 2021 Jan;39(1):58-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.1581470
https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.15...
All studies searched the PubMed database and at least two more databases. All studies had two independent reviewers and a third researcher was consulted when there was no agreement, and all conducted some type of methodological quality analysis or risk of bias assessment of the studies. However, there were language restrictions in two included studies.99. Restrepo C, Gómez S, Manrique R. Treatment of bruxism in children: a systematic review. Quintessence Int. 2009 Nov-Dec;40(10):849-55.,2222. Ierardo G, Mazur M, Luzzi V, Calcagnile F, Ottolenghi L, Polimeni A. Treatments of sleep bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cranio. 2021 Jan;39(1):58-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.1581470
https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.15...
Only one study collected enough data to perform a meta-analysis.2222. Ierardo G, Mazur M, Luzzi V, Calcagnile F, Ottolenghi L, Polimeni A. Treatments of sleep bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cranio. 2021 Jan;39(1):58-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.1581470
https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.15...
All studies reported a lack of evidence99. Restrepo C, Gómez S, Manrique R. Treatment of bruxism in children: a systematic review. Quintessence Int. 2009 Nov-Dec;40(10):849-55. or low level of evidence2222. Ierardo G, Mazur M, Luzzi V, Calcagnile F, Ottolenghi L, Polimeni A. Treatments of sleep bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cranio. 2021 Jan;39(1):58-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.1581470
https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.15...
for recommending any of the treatments evaluated, or yet the information from studies had high or unclear risk of bias.2323. Chisini LA, San Martin AS, Cademartori MG, Boscato N, Correa MB, Goettems ML. Interventions to reduce bruxism in children and adolescents: a systematic scoping review and critical reflection. Eur J Pediatr. 2020 Feb;179(2):177-89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549-8
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549...

Methodological quality and risk of bias assessment

Table 3 shows the results of the methodological quality analysis.

Table 3
Methodological quality of included systematic reviews.

All SRs did not meet the proposed criteria in at least one domain. However, one study met the criteria for all critical domains, and was ranked as moderate confidence in the results.2323. Chisini LA, San Martin AS, Cademartori MG, Boscato N, Correa MB, Goettems ML. Interventions to reduce bruxism in children and adolescents: a systematic scoping review and critical reflection. Eur J Pediatr. 2020 Feb;179(2):177-89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549-8
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549...
On the other hand, two studies did not fulfill the criteria for a critical domain and were classified as having low confidence in the results.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
,2222. Ierardo G, Mazur M, Luzzi V, Calcagnile F, Ottolenghi L, Polimeni A. Treatments of sleep bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cranio. 2021 Jan;39(1):58-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.1581470
https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.15...
The other SRs did not meet the criteria proposed in more domains and were rated as critically low confidence in the results.99. Restrepo C, Gómez S, Manrique R. Treatment of bruxism in children: a systematic review. Quintessence Int. 2009 Nov-Dec;40(10):849-55.,2020. Canto GL, Singh V, Conti P, Dick BD, Gozal D, Major PW, et al. Association between sleep bruxism and psychosocial factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 May;54(5):469-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976
https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976...
,2121. Guo H, Wang T, Li X, Ma Q, Niu X, Qiu J. What sleep behaviors are associated with bruxism in children? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Breath. 2017 Dec;21(4):1013-23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-3
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-...

Table 4 shows the result of the risk of bias assessment for the included SRs. SRs showed a high risk of bias. In general, studies presented at least one parameter with a low risk of bias. Study eligibility received a high risk in all SRs, mainly due to the absence of a previous protocol (registered or published). Besides, the lack of search in the grey literature or in the references of eligible studies and restriction of the publication date or language resulted in a high risk of bias for all studies except one in the parameter identification and selection of studies.2323. Chisini LA, San Martin AS, Cademartori MG, Boscato N, Correa MB, Goettems ML. Interventions to reduce bruxism in children and adolescents: a systematic scoping review and critical reflection. Eur J Pediatr. 2020 Feb;179(2):177-89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549-8
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549...
On the other hand, in the parameters of data collection and study appraisal as well as data synthesis and findings, all SRs presented a low risk of bias. However, three did not conduct data synthesis/meta-analysis and were not scored for this parameter. 99. Restrepo C, Gómez S, Manrique R. Treatment of bruxism in children: a systematic review. Quintessence Int. 2009 Nov-Dec;40(10):849-55.,2020. Canto GL, Singh V, Conti P, Dick BD, Gozal D, Major PW, et al. Association between sleep bruxism and psychosocial factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 May;54(5):469-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976
https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976...
,2323. Chisini LA, San Martin AS, Cademartori MG, Boscato N, Correa MB, Goettems ML. Interventions to reduce bruxism in children and adolescents: a systematic scoping review and critical reflection. Eur J Pediatr. 2020 Feb;179(2):177-89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549-8
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549...

Table 4
Risk of bias of included systematic reviews.

Overlap degree of studies included in systematic reviews

Table 5 shows the overlap of studies included in the SRs on associated factors. Most studies were included in only one SR (62.1%). It was also observed that the newer the SRs, the greater the number of studies included. The overlap of studies was considered very high (38%; CCA = 0.38).

Table 5
Overlap of studies included in systematic reviews on associated factors.

Table 6 shows the overlap of studies included in the SR on treatment options. Only one study was included in the three SRs (5.3%). The overlap of the studies was considered very high (21%; CCA = 0.21).

Table 6
Overlap of studies included in systematic reviews on treatment options.

Discussion

The control of sleep bruxism is a challenge for pediatric dentists, not only due to the difficult assessment but mainly due to the lack of evidence to support the available management strategies for the condition. This study aimed to summarize the data on associated factors and treatment approaches available for clinical management to sleep bruxism in children with primary dentition.

The best evidence reported by SRs to date is for factors associated with this condition. For this reason, the focus should be the management of these factors. In general, the sleep conditions of affected children are associated with bruxism, being the duration and quality of sleep frequently associated.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
,2121. Guo H, Wang T, Li X, Ma Q, Niu X, Qiu J. What sleep behaviors are associated with bruxism in children? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Breath. 2017 Dec;21(4):1013-23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-3
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-...
The primary studies included in the SRs indicate that factors such as snoring, restless sleep, insomnia, sleeping position, noise in bedroom, and sleeping with the light on directly interfere with sleep bruxism.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
,2121. Guo H, Wang T, Li X, Ma Q, Niu X, Qiu J. What sleep behaviors are associated with bruxism in children? A systematic review and meta-analysis. Sleep Breath. 2017 Dec;21(4):1013-23. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-3
https://doi.org/10.1007/s11325-017-1496-...
Some justifications have been pointed out: a) the change in sleeping position may be associated with airway obstruction, and as a consequence, bruxism77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
; b) restless sleep, in addition to frequent changes in position during the night, may also indicate discomfort, suggesting anxiety or stress;77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
c) stimuli such as the light on and noise can negatively impact the child’s biological clock and sleep pathophysiology, since the sleep cycle is influenced by stimuli of the environment,2424. Serra-Negra JM, Paiva SM, Fulgêncio LB, Chavez BA, Lage CF, Pordeus IA. Environmental factors, sleep duration, and sleep bruxism in Brazilian schoolchildren: a case-control study. Sleep Med. 2014 Feb;15(2):236-9. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2013.08.797
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2013.08....
which are related to restless sleep and, consequently, bruxism. These findings are supported by two SRs, which included 21 primary studies with very high overlap between them, even though the most recent SR has included a larger number of studies. These two SRs present, however, a high risk of bias and critically low methodological quality.

However, it cannot be claimed that there is any causal association between restless sleep and inadequate sleep habits with sleep bruxism. Individuals with sleep bruxism do not necessarily report signs of poor sleep quality.2525. Ohlmann B, Bömicke W, Habibi Y, Rammelsberg P, Schmitter M. Are there associations between sleep bruxism, chronic stress, and sleep quality? J Dent. 2018 Jul;74:101-6. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdent.2018.05.007
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jdent.2018.05....
Besides, the adoption of sleep hygiene habits does not play a decisive role in eliminating parafunction, reinforcing the hypothesis of a non-causal association.2626. Valiente López M, van Selms MK, van der Zaag J, Hamburger HL, Lobbezoo F. Do sleep hygiene measures and progressive muscle relaxation influence sleep bruxism? Report of a randomised controlled trial. J Oral Rehabil. 2015 Apr;42(4):259-65. https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12252
https://doi.org/10.1111/joor.12252...

Sleep bruxism has been shown to be associated with personality traits and psychosocial factors, such as stress and anxiety. Personality traits refer to how the individual reacts to different situations, and anxious, tense, or stressed children can discharge this energy during sleep, resulting in sleep bruxism.2727. Serra-Negra JM, Paiva SM, Flores-Mendoza CE, Ramos-Jorge ML, Pordeus IA. Association among stress, personality traits, and sleep bruxism in children. Pediatr Dent. 2012 Mar-Apr;34(2):e30-4. On the other hand, in one SR, these associations were identified only in children older than 6 years,2020. Canto GL, Singh V, Conti P, Dick BD, Gozal D, Major PW, et al. Association between sleep bruxism and psychosocial factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 May;54(5):469-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976
https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976...
which was not the focus of this SR. The authors explain that the social development expected from the school stage gradually makes the child less self-centered, with more experiences in social environments, which often takes the form of anxiety and stress2020. Canto GL, Singh V, Conti P, Dick BD, Gozal D, Major PW, et al. Association between sleep bruxism and psychosocial factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 May;54(5):469-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976
https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976...
. On the other hand, they mention that bruxism seems to be a relatively common habit in children between 5 and 6 years old, with no significant psychological correlates2020. Canto GL, Singh V, Conti P, Dick BD, Gozal D, Major PW, et al. Association between sleep bruxism and psychosocial factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 May;54(5):469-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976
https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976...
. Two SRs support these associations,77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
,2020. Canto GL, Singh V, Conti P, Dick BD, Gozal D, Major PW, et al. Association between sleep bruxism and psychosocial factors in children and adolescents: a systematic review. Clin Pediatr (Phila). 2015 May;54(5):469-78. https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976
https://doi.org/10.1177/0009922814555976...
although all of them are at high risk of bias and lack critical methodological criteria, and 25 primary studies have been included, with only one mentioned in more than one SR. These SRs also reported a high risk of bias in primary studies, especially due to the lack of standard criteria for the assessment of psychosocial factors and sleep bruxism, which the most significant limitation is the subjectivity of the assessment and self-report of parents.

Although the association between sleep bruxism and psychosocial factors is widely reported in the literature, there is no biological plausibility for the mandibular movement to be associated with anxiety. Teeth grinding, which characterized sleep bruxism, is determined by aphasic muscle activity involving movement. However, neurophysiology studies indicate that muscle activity related to tension and concentration states is tonic, i.e., the muscles exhibit sustained contraction.2828. Marker RJ, Campeau S, Maluf KS. Psychosocial stress alters the strength of reticulospinal input to the human upper trapezius. J Neurophysiol. 2017 Jan;117(1):457-66. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00448.2016
https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00448.2016...
,2929. Tokuno CD, Keller M, Carpenter MG, Márquez G, Taube W. Alterations in the cortical control of standing posture during varying levels of postural threat and task difficulty. J Neurophysiol. 2018 Sep;120(3):1010-6. https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00709.2017
https://doi.org/10.1152/jn.00709.2017...
Thus, it is more likely that the anxious profile results from respiratory obstruction, a recognized risk factor for sleep bruxism.3030. Cardoso TSG, Pompéia S, Miranda MC. Cognitive and behavioral effects of obstructive sleep apnea syndrome in children: a systematic literature review. Sleep Med. 2018 Jun;46:46-55. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2017.12.020
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.sleep.2017.12....

One SR also includes exposure to secondhand smoke as a factor associated with sleep bruxism.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
The role of nicotine or smoke exposure in the pathogenesis of bruxism is based on the trigeminal’s activation of baseline afferents, leading to the trigeminal-cardiac reflex.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
The clinical presentation of this reflex is bradycardia, hypotension, apnea, and gastric hypermotility, but it can also lead to sleep bruxism.77. Guo H, Wang T, Niu X, Wang H, Yang W, Qiu J, et al. The risk factors related to bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Arch Oral Biol. 2018 Feb;86:18-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2017.11.004
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
The SR that identified this association presents a high risk of bias and the absence of methodological criteria, either because it was not conducted or it was not reported. However, most primary studies included were evaluated as having good quality and/or low risk of bias.

The role of decreased oxygenation in sleep bruxism is biologically supported, so a causal association between the two variables is very likely. Most individuals with sleep apnea initiate mandibular movement shortly after the episode.3131. Suzuki Y, Rompré P, Mayer P, Kato T, Okura K, Lavigne GJ. Changes in oxygen and carbon dioxide in the genesis of sleep bruxism: a mechanism study. J Prosthodont Res. 2020 Jan;64(1):43-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpor.2019.04.012
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpor.2019.04.0...
The activation of the suprahyoid muscle and the consequent mandibular protrusion favor airway patency, returning the breathing pattern before the apneic moment.3232. Khoury S, Rouleau GA, Rompré PH, Mayer P, Montplaisir JY, Lavigne GJ. A significant increase in breathing amplitude precedes sleep bruxism. Chest. 2008 Aug;134(2):332-7. https://doi.org/10.1378/chest.08-0115
https://doi.org/10.1378/chest.08-0115...
,3333. Lavigne GJ, Huynh N, Kato T, Okura K, Adachi K, Yao D, et al. Genesis of sleep bruxism: motor and autonomic-cardiac interactions. Arch Oral Biol. 2007 Apr;52(4):381-4. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.2006.11.017
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.archoralbio.20...
Consequently, the protrusion of the mandible has a protective role for the organism that is physiologically based. The causality between upper airway obstruction and bruxism is supported by experimental research showing that the suppression of the causative agent decreases sleep bruxism.3434. Eftekharian A, Raad N, Gholami-Ghasri N. Bruxism and adenotonsillectomy. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2008 Apr;72(4):509-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2008.01.006 PMID:18282616
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2008.01...
,3535. DiFrancesco RC, Junqueira PA, Trezza PM, Faria ME, Frizzarini R, Zerati FE. Improvement of bruxism after T & A surgery. Int J Pediatr Otorhinolaryngol. 2004 Apr;68(4):441-5. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2003.11.022
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ijporl.2003.11...
However, the fact that there are individuals who experience sleep bruxism before apnea raises the hypothesis that there is a specific phenotype where the causal association between the situations fits.3131. Suzuki Y, Rompré P, Mayer P, Kato T, Okura K, Lavigne GJ. Changes in oxygen and carbon dioxide in the genesis of sleep bruxism: a mechanism study. J Prosthodont Res. 2020 Jan;64(1):43-7. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpor.2019.04.012
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jpor.2019.04.0...

Conversely, when treatment of sleep bruxism was the focus of SRs, there is no evidence to support any strategy. Restrepo et al.99. Restrepo C, Gómez S, Manrique R. Treatment of bruxism in children: a systematic review. Quintessence Int. 2009 Nov-Dec;40(10):849-55. used a quality criterion for the inclusion of articles in the SR. Although they point to other treatment options such as drugs, occlusal devices, and physical therapies, only two studies met the criteria proposed by them, which evaluated adenotonsillectomy and psychological therapy as approaches to sleep bruxism. However, there is still insufficient evidence to confirm that the surgery reduces bruxism, especially considering that the authors did not report assessment criteria for reducing bruxism. Likewise, the study that evaluated the effect of psychological therapy on signs and symptoms of sleep bruxism had several methodological flaws, which makes the findings unfeasible for the construction of evidence.

Another SR by Ierardo et al.2222. Ierardo G, Mazur M, Luzzi V, Calcagnile F, Ottolenghi L, Polimeni A. Treatments of sleep bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cranio. 2021 Jan;39(1):58-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.1581470
https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.15...
has focused on pharmacological options for treating sleep bruxism in children. The authors noted that pharmacotherapy with hydroxyzine had possible effectiveness in reducing signs and symptoms of sleep bruxism, but the evidence level is low. The finding was based on a single primary study of very low methodological quality.2222. Ierardo G, Mazur M, Luzzi V, Calcagnile F, Ottolenghi L, Polimeni A. Treatments of sleep bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cranio. 2021 Jan;39(1):58-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.1581470
https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.15...
The administration of benzodiazepines and melissa officinalis was not associated with bruxism improvement and should not be recommended. Since these findings are based on low-quality studies,2222. Ierardo G, Mazur M, Luzzi V, Calcagnile F, Ottolenghi L, Polimeni A. Treatments of sleep bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cranio. 2021 Jan;39(1):58-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.1581470
https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.15...
well-designed randomized clinical trials with low risk of bias and a representative sample size are required to confirm or refute these results.

In the same line, Chisini et al.2323. Chisini LA, San Martin AS, Cademartori MG, Boscato N, Correa MB, Goettems ML. Interventions to reduce bruxism in children and adolescents: a systematic scoping review and critical reflection. Eur J Pediatr. 2020 Feb;179(2):177-89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549-8
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549...
also investigated the effect of pharmacological approaches for the clinical control of sleep bruxism. The authors affirmed that a reduction in self-reported bruxism and headaches associated with bruxism were observed in studies using medication (hydroxyzine/ trazodone/ flurazepam). However, alternative treatments, such as Melissa officinalis L, show inconclusive results. These findings corroborate the SR by Ierardo et al.2222. Ierardo G, Mazur M, Luzzi V, Calcagnile F, Ottolenghi L, Polimeni A. Treatments of sleep bruxism in children: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Cranio. 2021 Jan;39(1):58-64. https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.1581470
https://doi.org/10.1080/08869634.2019.15...
since the authors from both studies affirm that these results were from studies with a high risk of bias and low-methodological quality, hindering the recommendation of such treatments for sleep bruxism based on them.

Complementing these findings, several interventions were identified with reports of bruxism reduction. Occlusal splints, orthodontic interventions, and psychological and physical therapy are the approaches identified by this SR. Nevertheless, even though this SR presents moderate methodological quality, a high risk of bias has been found. Also, these reported results are from primary studies with a high risk of bias.2323. Chisini LA, San Martin AS, Cademartori MG, Boscato N, Correa MB, Goettems ML. Interventions to reduce bruxism in children and adolescents: a systematic scoping review and critical reflection. Eur J Pediatr. 2020 Feb;179(2):177-89. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549-8
https://doi.org/10.1007/s00431-019-03549...

It is worth mentioning that umbrella reviews aim to summarize the findings of the SRs without assessing the primary studies individually.1313. Seifo N, Cassie H, Radford JR, Innes NP. Silver diamine fluoride for managing carious lesions: an umbrella review. BMC Oral Health. 2019 Jul;19(1):145. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-019-0830-5
https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-019-0830-...
Thus, some information that could impact the synthesis of results could be missed in umbrella reviews, such as sample size and study design of the primary studies included in SRs. The quality of evidence generated from the SRs is affected by these factors. In the present umbrella review, the SRs included different studies design, of which the most common were cross-sectional and case-control for studies on associated factors, and RCT and before-and-after study for studies on treatment assessment. RCTs are the most appropriate study design to compare treatment strategies and provide the best evidence for clinical practice, whereas cohort studies are best suited to identify risk factors rather than associated factors.

It is assumed that the included studies followed previously defined search strategies and eligibility criteria, although none of the included SR had registered the protocol before implementation. Registering research protocols ensures transparency in the conduct and reporting of studies and should be considered in future SRs. On the other hand, methodological quality analysis or risk of bias assessment of primary studies were conducted for all SRs included and considered in our reports.

Another critical aspect that should be considered is the lack of standardization for the assessment of bruxism, which could reflect the large range of bruxism prevalence (3.5%–40.6%) in different populations, resulting in a clinical heterogeneity that compromises the summarizing of data.

Thus, the best evidence available to date for the management of sleep bruxism in children is the control of associated factors, with sleep duration and conditions, respiratory changes, personality traits, and psychosocial factors being the most commonly reported in the studies. On the other hand, there is currently insufficient evidence with a high risk of bias and critically low confidence in the results to make recommendations for specific treatment options. Further well-designed studies that consider strategies for clinical control of bruxism should be performed.

Conclusion

There is currently no evidence-based recommendation for a treatment strategy for sleep bruxism in children so far. On the other hand, management of associated factors seems to be the best strategy for clinical control of sleep bruxism in children. The studies focusing on strategies for the management of associated factors could provide more clinically relevant and applicable information for children with primary dentition.

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  • ERRATUM

    Author’s Name
    Where is read: Isabela FLORIANO (e)
    Should read: Isabela FLORIANO (d)
    Where is read: Tamara Kerber TEDESCO (a)
    Should read: Tamara Kerber TEDESCO (b)
    Affiliation
    Where is read:
    (a) Universidade Ibirapuera, School of Dentistry,, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
    (b) Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul, School of Dentistry,, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
    (c) Universidade de São Paulo – USP, School of Dentistry, Department of Orthodontics and Pediatric Dentistry, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
    (d) Cardiff University, School of Dentistry, Cardiff, UK.
    (e) Instituto São Leopoldo Mandic, Faculdade São Leopoldo Mandic, Postgraduate courses in Pediatric Dentistry, Campinas, SP, Brazil.
    Should read:
    (a) Universidade Ibirapuera, School of Dentistry,, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
    (b) Universidade Cruzeiro do Sul, School of Dentistry, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.
    (c) Cardiff University, School of Dentistry, Cardiff, UK.
    (d) Instituto São Leopoldo Mandic, Faculdade São Leopoldo Mandic, Postgraduate courses in Pediatric Dentistry, Campinas, SP, Brazil.

Publication Dates

  • Publication in this collection
    06 Jan 2023
  • Date of issue
    2023

History

  • Received
    24 Nov 2021
  • Accepted
    4 July 2022
  • Reviewed
    4 Aug 2022
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