Is bruxism associated with changes in neural pathways? A systematic review and meta-analysis of clinical studies using neurophysiological techniques

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperReviewResearchpeer-review

This study aimed to systematically review the literature to identify clinical studies assessing neuroplasticity changes induced by or associated with bruxism or a tooth-clenching task using neurophysiological techniques. Searches were performed in five electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Scopus, Web of Science, and Google Scholar) in April 2020. This review included clinical studies using neurophysiological techniques to assess neuroplasticity changes in healthy participants before and after a tooth-clenching task or comparing bruxers and non-bruxers. The quality assessment was performed with the Joanna Briggs Institute tool and Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation. Meta-analyses were conducted with studies reporting similar comparisons regarding masseter motor evoked potential amplitude and signal change outcomes. Of 151 articles identified in the searches, nine were included, and five proceeded to meta-analysis. Included studies presented moderate to very low methodological quality. From these included studies, eight evaluated bruxers and non-bruxers, of which five of them observed brain activity differences between groups, and three found no differences. Even so, all studies have suggested distinct difference in the central excitability between bruxers and non-bruxers, the meta-analysis revealed no statistically significant differences (P > 0.05). It appears that bruxism seems, indeed, to be associated with distinct differences in the neural pathways related to the control of the jaw-closing muscles, but that considerable variability in terms of classification of bruxism and assessment of neuroplasticity hamper a definite conclusion. Future research projects should take these concerns into consideration in order to further the understanding of bruxism physiology and pathophysiology.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 28 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.

    Research areas

  • Brain, Bruxism, Neuroimaging, Neuronal plasticity

See relations at Aarhus University Citationformats

ID: 231335383