Are bruxism and the bite causally related?

F. Lobbezoo*, J. Ahlberg, D. Manfredini, E. Winocur

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

106 Scopus citations


In the dental profession, the belief that bruxism and dental (mal-)occlusion ('the bite') are causally related is widespread. The aim of this review was to critically assess the available literature on this topic. A PubMed search of the English-language literature, using the query 'Bruxism [Majr] AND (Dental Occlusion [Majr] OR Malocclusion [Majr])', yielded 93 articles, of which 46 papers were finally included in the present review*. Part of the included publications dealt with the possible associations between bruxism and aspects of occlusion, from which it was concluded that neither for occlusal interferences nor for factors related to the anatomy of the oro-facial skeleton, there is any evidence available that they are involved in the aetiology of bruxism. Instead, there is a growing awareness of other factors (viz. psychosocial and behavioural ones) being important in the aetiology of bruxism. Another part of the included papers assessed the possible mediating role of occlusion between bruxism and its purported consequences (e.g. tooth wear, loss of periodontal tissues, and temporomandibular pain and dysfunction). Even though most dentists agree that bruxism may have several adverse effects on the masticatory system, for none of these purported adverse effects, evidence for a mediating role of occlusion and articulation has been found to date. Hence, based on this review, it should be concluded that to date, there is no evidence whatsoever for a causal relationship between bruxism and the bite.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)489-501
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Oral Rehabilitation
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012


  • Aetiology
  • Articulation
  • Bruxism
  • Occlusion
  • Review


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