Bruxism in Acute Neurologic Illness


Purpose of Review

While traditionally encountered in ambulatory settings, bruxism occurs in patients with a variety of acute neurologic illnesses including encephalitis, intracerebral hemorrhage, traumatic brain injury, hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy, and acute ischemic stroke. Untreated bruxism in acute neurologic illness can lead to tooth loss, difficulty in mouth care resulting in recurrent aspiration pneumonia, endotracheal tube dislodgement, and even tongue laceration or amputation. Inpatient clinicians should be aware of the etiologies and management strategies for bruxism secondary to acute neurologic illness.

Recent Findings

Management strategies for bruxism are varied and include pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic therapies in addition to onabotulinumtoxinA (BoNT-A).


Bruxism impacts patients with a variety of acute neurologic illnesses, and emerging evidence suggests successful and safe treatment strategies.

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Judy H. Ch’ang.

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Conflict of Interest

Dr. Burke MD has nothing to disclose. Dr. Seitz has nothing to disclose. Mr. Aladesuru has nothing to disclose. Dr. Robbins reports serving on the Board of Directors of the American Headache Society and the New York State Neurological Society in non-remunerative positions. He receives book royalties from Wiley and serves editorial positions for Headache and Current Pain and Headache Reports. Dr. Ch’ang has nothing to disclose.

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Burke, D.J., Seitz, A., Aladesuru, O. et al. Bruxism in Acute Neurologic Illness. Curr Pain Headache Rep 25, 41 (2021).

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  • Bruxism
  • Trismus
  • Teeth grinding
  • OnabotulinumtoxinA