Maladaptive coping strategies in patients with bruxism compared to non-bruxing controls

  • Christine SchneiderEmail author
  • Alexandra Goertz
  • Matthias Franz
  • Michelle A. Ommerborn
  • Maria Giraki
  • Wolfgang H. -M. Raab
  • Ralf Schaefer


Background: Sleep bruxism is the non-functional grinding or clenching of teeth during sleep. It may lead to tooth damage and myofascial pain. Although stress is discussed as a main causal agent, there is a lack of studies concerning coping strategies in patients with sleep bruxism. Purpose: The aim of the present study was to investigate whether bruxers, compared to non-bruxing individuals, apply maladaptive coping strategies. Method: Seventy-five sleep bruxers and 38 non-bruxers were selected by dental examination and tested by a German coping questionnaire (SVF78). Results: A significant difference in positive coping strategies was observed between the two groups. Bruxers reported less positive coping strategies, mainly less “reaction control” and “positive self-instructions.” In general, males reported less negative coping strategies. Conclusion: The reported effects demonstrate a deficit of functional coping strategies in bruxers, whereas strategies that enhance stress do not seem to be associated with sleep bruxism. Findings do not admit the conclusion that there is a causal association of maladaptive coping and bruxism. However, they support the approach of a multidisciplinary therapy involving psychological treatment.

Key words

sleep bruxism stress coping maladaptive coping strategies 


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Copyright information

© International Society of Behavioral Medicine 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christine Schneider
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alexandra Goertz
    • 1
  • Matthias Franz
    • 1
  • Michelle A. Ommerborn
    • 2
  • Maria Giraki
    • 2
  • Wolfgang H. -M. Raab
    • 2
  • Ralf Schaefer
    • 3
  1. 1.University of DuesseldorfClinical Institute of Psychosomatic Medicine and PsychotherapyDuesseldorfGermany
  2. 2.Department of Operative and Preventive Dentistry and EndodonticsUniversity of DuesseldorfDuesseldorfGermany
  3. 3.Clinical Institute of Psychosomatic Medicine and PsychotherapyUniversity of DuesseldorfDuesseldorfGermany

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