Biological Basis

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Emotional stress is the most commonly reported precipitant of bruxism (Rugh and Harlan, 1988b). Medications including amphetamines (Ashcrost et al., 1965) and levodopa (L-dopa) (Magee, 1970) may precipitate this disorder; long-term phenothiazine use (Kamen, 1975) and alcohol (Hartmann, 1979) have also been related to bruxism. Bruxism may have a genetic predisposition. Although bruxism has been postulated to be a centrally mediated sleep disorder on the basis of these observations, the specific mechanisms underlying this disorder are poorly understood.

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