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Bellini M. 1, Marini I. 2, Checchi V. 3, Pelliccioni G. A. 4, Gatto M. R. 5
1 Division of Psychiatry, Dentistry Department of Psychiatry, “Alma Mater Studiorum” , University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
2 Division of Orthodontics and Gnatology, Department of Odontostomatologic Sciences, “Alma Mater Studiorum”, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
3 Department of Odontostomatologic Sciences, Second University of Naples, Naples, Italy
4 Division of Oral Surgery, Department of Odontostomatologic Sciences, “Alma Mater Studiorum” , University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
5 Service of Statistics in Dentistry, Department of Odontostomatologic Sciences, “Alma Mater Studiorum” , University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
AIM: The aim of this observational study was to compare two samples of patients (identified, from a previous survey carried out in 2007, as self-assessed bruxers and not) on the basis of the presence of anxious/phobic symptoms, general and linked to an oral surgery.
METHODS: Forty-three bruxers and 207 non-bruxers were identified; among these last ones a sub-sample of 89 subjects was randomly selected as control and analyzed. The instruments for data collecting were two self-administered psychological questionnaires: STAI-Y1, Phobia Scale by Marks-Sheehan, and supplementary items on specific dental fear/phobia.
RESULTS: No significant differences were observed for age, gender and occupation data but interestingly bruxers are significantly more represented among widows/divorced and graduated in comparisons with non-bruxers. Alcohol consumers were more frequent in bruxers than in non-bruxers (55.8% and 12.4%, respectively; P=0.0001). Global anxiety (P=0.02), agoraphobia, claustrophobia, pathophobia, social phobia (P<0.05), are more frequent in bruxers as also a suffocation feeling (P=0.02). The severity of behaviours that aim to avoid the same situations that causes phobias is low and similar in the two groups.
CONCLUSION: The involuntary habit of clenching is, in our opinion, reported by the patients who control their anxiety/phobias without avoiding behaviours, increasing the muscular activity at a level relevant to bruxism.