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Summary of Occlusal splints for treating sleep bruxism (tooth grinding)


PMC8890597 (Ref ID)

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I. Introduction:

This research paper focuses on investigating the effectiveness of occlusal splints in treating sleep bruxism, a condition characterized by teeth grinding or clenching during sleep, and its associated symptoms. The main research question of the study is whether occlusal splints can be considered an effective form of treatment for sleep bruxism.

II. Methodology:

The research design used in the study is a systematic review of randomized controlled trials (RCTs), conducted between 1966 and May 2007, in which splint therapy was compared concurrently to no treatment, other occlusal appliances, or any other intervention in participants with sleep bruxism. The research team employed various databases such as the Cochrane Oral Health Group's Trials Register, MEDLINE, EMBASE, LILACS, Biblioteca Brasileira de Odontologia, Dissertation, Theses, and Abstracts. The data collected from each of the selected studies were analyzed, and the validity of the included trials was assessed simultaneously. The limitations of the study include limited sample size, as only five RCTs were included, and a lack of standardization of the outcomes of the treatment of sleep bruxism.

III. Results:

The research findings showed that there is not sufficient evidence to support the use of occlusal splints for treating sleep bruxism. While some benefits related to tooth wear were observed, there were no statistically significant differences between the occlusal splint and control groups. The main outcome assessed in the meta-analysis was the arousal index, and the results showed no significant difference between splint therapy and other interventions, placebo, or no treatment.

IV. Discussion:

The results of the study suggest the need for further investigation in more controlled RCTs that pay attention to the method of allocation, outcome assessment, large sample size, and sufficient duration of follow-up. The study design must be parallel, in order to eliminate the bias provided by studies of cross-over type. Although little evidence was found to show that occlusal splints can reduce sleep bruxism, taken together, the findings of the study indicate that the indication of using the splint therapy is questionable, and more research is required to investigate its effectiveness.

V. Conclusion:

Occlusal splints are a commonly used therapy for sleep bruxism, but this study did not find sufficient evidence to support their effectiveness. Future studies with rigorous methodology, larger sample sizes, and standardized outcome measures will be required to determine whether occlusal splints can be considered a reliable form of treatment for sleep bruxism.


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