Evaluation of parents/guardian knowledge about the bruxism of their children: Family knowledge of bruxism

Junia Maria Serra-Negra, Debora Tirsa-Costa, Flavia H Guimarães, Saul Martins Paiva, Isabela Almeida Pordeus
Journal of the Indian Society of Pedodontics and Preventive Dentistry 2013, 31 (3): 153-8

BACKGROUND/AIM: Bruxism is the habitual, involuntary grinding or clenching of the teeth that affects both children and adults. The aim of the present study was to assess the level of knowledge parents/guardians have about the bruxism of their children.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A cross-sectional epidemiological study was developed for 221 parents/guardians of patients of the pediatric dentist in the Faculty of Dentistry of the Federal University of Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil. A previously tested questionnaire, based on the criteria of the American Association of Sleep Medicine (AASM), was used to collect data from the participants in the waiting room of the clinics involved. Descriptive analysis was elaborated and the chi-squared test was applied (level of significance of 5%) using statistical software SPSS 17.0.

RESULTS: The majority of the participants were mothers of the patients (84.2%). The mean age of the parents/guardians was 36.6 years. The mean age of children was 7.6 years. In total, 76.6% of the mothers, 40.2% of the fathers, and 48% of the children reported having bruxism. The participants believed that bruxism was associated with emotional factors (63.8%) and/or mystical factors (20.4%). The majority reported having sought help from doctors (54.4%), followed by mystics (20.4%) and dentists (19.1%). A statistically significant association was found between bruxism and children with restless sleep (P < 0.001) and in cases where both the parents and children were affected by bruxism (P < 0.001).

CONCLUSION: Families require greater clarification regarding the factors that trigger bruxism.

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