Bruxism is the grinding and clenching of teeth usually during sleep. It is common in persons of all ages and affects about 15% of children and as many as 96% of adults. Clinically, bruxism commonly accompanies the stress of marital strife, school examinations or work difficulties. It may resolve when these stresses lessen.
The specific cause of bruxism is unknown. Bruxism has been associated with stress, occlusal disorders, allergies and sleep position. Alcohol often aggravates bruxism. Some studies indicate that bruxism may be associated with magnesium deficiency.
Acrodynia (pain in peripheral or acral parts of the body) is a syndrome caused almost exclusively by mercury poisoning. In children it is characterized by erythema of the extremities, chest, and nose, polyneuritis, and gastrointestinal symptoms. In adults it is characterized by anorexia, photophobia, sweating, and tachycardia.
Recent research has indicated an association between neurotransmitters and bruxism, particularly epinephrine and dopamine. The use of seretonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIÕs, antidepressants) and ecstasy are associated with bruxism.
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