In previous clinical practice, findings of tooth damage and pain associated with temporomandibular disorders (TMDs) were the primary indications to search for further signs of bruxism. Today, however, it appears more prudent to perform a prospective evaluation (ie, screening) of patients for current bruxism activity before the start of treatment, for a number of reasons. First, if the screening test is positive, early preventive or curative measures (such as splint therapy or restoration of anterior canine guidance) can be planned, signs and symptoms of TMDs detected, and high-risk treatment options excluded from the outset. Second, a positive screening result gives the dentist an opportunity to educate bruxism patients about their individual risks at an early stage and include them in treatment planning. Finally, bruxism may be associated with obstructive sleep apnea, the treatment of which can contribute greatly to improving the quality of life and general health of the patient.
Keywords: wake bruxism, sleep bruxism, screening bruxism, diagnosis