Role of occlusal factors on probable bruxism and orofacial p
This study aimed to explore the association between occlusal features and temporomandibular disorder (TMD) pain complaints and probable awake or sleep bruxism Path analysis was used to estimate direct, indirect and total effects of occlusal features on probable bruxism and pain-related TMD in adults aged 31 years from the 1982 Pelotas Birth Cohort. A total of 539 cohort members had an oral examination in 2013. Occlusal features were assessed through the Dental Aesthetic Index (DAI), orofacial pain complaints through the TMD pain screener, and probable bruxism based on self-reports in combination with clinical findings.

Malocclusions were found in 28.8% of the participants, while awake bruxism was reported in 35.2%, sleep bruxism in 15.2%, and pain-related TMD in 52.5% of the sample. The occlusion had no direct effect on either awake bruxism or pain-related TMD. Conversely, probable awake bruxism was associated with pain-related TMD. Similar results were found when sleep bruxism was set as the mediator of interest, as malocclusion did not directly affect sleep bruxism nor pain-related TMD. A direct effect of sleep bruxism on pain-related TMD was observed with an SC of 0.16.

Findings suggested that malocclusion during adulthood did not directly influence probable awake or sleep bruxism nor TMD pain complaints. Instead, probable awake and sleep bruxism was associated with TMD pain complaints. Malocclusion did not impact the presence of bruxism nor TMD complaints in adulthood, but awake and sleep bruxism were associated with TMD pain complaints. The significance of malocclusion should be reconsidered in contemporary dentistry and oral rehabilitation.