What Causes Nocturnal Bruxism?

Bruxism and other dental parafunctions are conditions frequently encountered by dentists. These conditions often present with significant challenges for effective management. However, we know that the consequences of ineffective bruxism management can be deleterious to our patient’s overall health and wellness resulting in a myriad of conditions including dental pathology, orofacial pain& other headache conditions, TMJ disorders, and more. 


A study from UCLA published in 2021 evaluated ninety-six patients presenting for routine dental examination. This study found 23 out of the 96 (24%) individuals met the diagnostic criteria for probable sleep bruxism. Risk factors identified for these individuals included impaired nasal breathing, reports of mouth breathing, restricted tongue mobility, and tonsillar hypertrophy. A synergistic effect was seen between:

- tonsil hypertrophy

- restricted tongue mobility

- nasal obstruction


The incidence of probable sleep bruxism without these factors was only 8.6%. Whereas the incidence of probable sleep bruxism among individuals with all three exam findings was 90.9%. 


Exhale Sinus exists to enhance the lives of those affected by sinus, TMJ, headache, and sleep conditions. Patients who are suffering from these conditions often find difficulty in obtaining compassionate and effective medical care.

Exhale Sinus was founded on the concepts of

1. Our passion to care for patients suffering from sinus, TMJ, headache, and sleep conditions

2. Our desire to “do it better” for the enrichment of patients and employees, and

3.  We face each day, each patient, and each challenge with the mantra “We are going to do our best and do what is right”, understanding that success will come in one of its many forms when we keep our focus on doing the right thing.


At Exhale Sinus, we have discovered that patient care is most effectively managed through collaboration. We would be delighted to connect with you and provide assistance wherever possible. You can reach us at (773) 234-5880 to schedule an appointment, or simply request one through our website. Our dedicated team of specialists is here to deliver comprehensive care tailored to meet your specific needs.



Reference: Oh JS, et. al. Determinants of probable sleep bruxism in a pediatric mixed dentition population: a multivariate analysis of mouth vs. nasal breathing, tongue mobility, and tonsil size. SleepMed. 2021 Jan;77:7-13. doi: 10.1016/j.sleep.2020.11.007. Epub 2020 Nov 11.

Exhale Sinus Team
- Your Partner for Sinus, TMJ, Headache, and Sleep relief