Aims: Bruxism associated with drugs can be destructive, resulting
in severe consequences to health that include destruction of tooth
structure, irreversible harm to the temporomandibular joint,
severe myofascial pain, and muscle contraction headache.
However, reports concerning a possible association between bruxism
and various pharmacologic drugs are scarce and mostly anecdotal.
The purpose of this article was to review the existing literature
concerning the exacerbating or ameliorating effect of drugs
on bruxism in humans. Methods: A search of the MEDLINE,
EMBASE, and PsicINFO databases from 1982 to 2001 was conducted,
and the term bruxism and one of the following terms were
used: drugs, medicine(s), pharmaceutical, movement disorders,
akathisia, dyskinesia, dystonia, central or autonomic nervous system,
dopamine, serotonin, and GABA. Furthermore, a search
using the term bruxism was carried out on the weekly journal
Reactions, which deals with side effects of drugs. Several chemical
terms were searched separately (eg, caffeine, nicotine). Relevant
information was also derived from reference lists of the retrieved
publications. Results: The search yielded complex information
referring to the association between bruxism and dopaminerelated
drugs, antidepressant drugs, sedative and anxiolytic drugs,
and drugs of abuse. Conclusion: There is insufficient evidencebased
data to draw definite conclusions concerning the effects of
various drugs on bruxism. Although certain substances related to
the dopaminergic, serotonergic, and adrenergic systems suppress
or exacerbate bruxist activity in humans and animals, the literature
is still controversial, and based mostly on anecdotal case
reports. More controlled, evidence-based research on this underexplored
subject is needed.
J OROFAC PAIN 2003;17:99–111.