Association between rhythmic masticatory muscle activity during sleep and masticatory myofascial pain: a polysomnographic study

Leylha Maria Nunes Rossetti, Carlos Dos Reis Pereira de Araujo, Paulo Henrique Orlato Rossetti, Paulo César Rodrigues Conti
Journal of Orofacial Pain 2008, 22 (3): 190-200

AIMS: To test for an association between rhythmic masticatory muscle activity during sleep, as assessed according to polysomnographic criteria for sleep bruxism (RMMA-SB), and myofascial pain (MFP), as well as the chance of occurrence of MFP in patients with RMMA-SB.

METHODS: Thirty MFP patients (diagnosed according to the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders) and 30 age- and gender-matched asymptomatic controls underwent a polysomnographic examination. Also, any self-reporting of daytime clenching (DC) was registered in 58 of these subjects.

RESULTS: Most MFP patients reported mild or moderate pain (46.67% and 43.33%, respectively), and only 3 (10%) reported severe pain. Pain duration ranged from 2 to 120 months (mean 34.67 +/- 36.96 months). Significant associations were observed between RMMA-SB and MFP as well as between DC and MFP.

CONCLUSIONS: (1) RMMA-SB is significantly associated with MFP; (2) although RMMA-SB represents a risk factor for MFP, this risk is low; and (3) DC probably constitutes a stronger risk factor for MFP than RMMA-SB.

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