How is Sleep-Related Bruxism Diagnosed?

There are a number of ways sleep-related bruxism can be diagnosed however the reliability is not the same. Diagnostic accuracy is divided into three groups:

Level 1: Self Reported: Possible Sleep-Related Bruxism

This is when a patient presents to a doctor or dentist’s office reporting that they feel that they suffer from the condition. This could be due to the patient being aware of nocturnal or night time grinding or could be due to a bed partner reporting hearing the patient grinding. It could be due to hypersensitivity of the teeth to cold foods and liquids. It could be due to frequent headaches.  This is the lowest level of diagnostic accuracy. 

Level 2: Self Reported with Clinical Signs: Probable Sleep-Related Bruxism

This is when the patient reports the condition and the doctor or dentist recognizes specific signs such as excessive tooth wear, abfraction lesions, tori, etc. This has a higher level of diagnostic accuracy and is considered by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine to be sufficient for a dentist to intervene.

Level 3: Overnight Polysomnography with EMG Muscle Recording: Definite Sleep-Related Bruxism

This is when the patient is aware, the doctor has found evidence of the condition and the doctor or dentist sends the patient home with a home sleep recorder with muscle recording capabilities.  The polysomnographic recording documents the sleep-related bruxism events as well as the activation of the trigeminal cardiac reflex (increased heart rate) with each event. From this study, the presence and the severity of the condition can be accurately diagnosed. The effect on heart rate can be documented in real-time to be occurring with the sleep-related bruxism events. EMG recording, done in real-time, is an electrical recording of the jaw muscle activity that can accurately record the number, intensity and duration of each SRB event. This is considered the gold standard for diagnosing this condition as it documents bruxism events by type, heart rate, and breathing simultaneously.


How to Simply Test Yourself for Sleep-Related Bruxism: Definite Sleep-Related Bruxism

How do I know if I might suffer from this condition?

There is a simple test you can do yourself at home to determine if you might suffer from sleep-related bruxism.

Slide your lower jaw forward until only your front teeth (incisors) are touching (as in the image below). Gently touch your teeth together and hold this position for 45 seconds to 1 minute.

Positive Mandibular Tremor: If you feel your jaw begins to shake or tremor and your teeth start to tap, this is highly diagnostic you suffer from sleep-related bruxism! This has been verified by some excellent studies. If you try this test and it is positive, speak to your dentist and ask about the Luco Hybrid device. Start sleeping in complete comfort.