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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Does bruxism contribute to root canal treatment?

  • Author(s): Wang, Sandy Shann-Yuh
  • Advisor(s): Huynh, Tri
  • et al.

Introduction: Bruxism is an oral motor disorder characterized by awake or sleep-related grinding and/or clenching of the teeth, and, tooth wear is its most evident effect. Currently, there have not been any studies investigating the relationship between bruxism and root canal treatment. The aim of this study was to determine whether bruxism is a risk factor for root canal


Methods: This case-control study included 3240 patients, aged 25-85 years, treated at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Dentistry between 2005-2011, with and without clinical evidence of root canal treatment as documented in the AXIUM patient database. A logistic regression model was used to assess potential risk factors associated with having root canal treatment, including bruxism, caries risk, age and gender.

Results: After adjusting for age, gender, and caries risk, bruxism was

associated with higher odds of having root canal treatment, odds ratio (OR): 1.30, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.10-1.54. Females were more likely to have had root canal treatment than males, OR: 1.19, 95% CI (1.01-1.41), and 3 each year of increasing age increased the odds of having root canal treatment, OR:1.04 (1.03-1.04). Patients with moderate caries risk had higher odds of having root canal treatment than those with low caries risk, OR: 1.434 (1.21-1.70).

Conclusion: Bruxism is a movement disorder characterized by grinding and clenching of teeth that can cause cracks and fractures of teeth, which can lead to pulpal injury. There appears to be a significant association between bruxism and root canal treatment.

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