Bruxism and nocturnal groaning

L. Ferini-Strambi, P. Pozzi, M. Manconi, M. Zucconi, A. Oldani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sleep bruxism (SB) is a sleep-related movement disorder, characterized by tooth grinding and/or clenching. The causes of SB range from psychosocial factors to an excessive sleep arousal response. Some studies showed that SB episodes during sleep are under the influences of transient activity of the brainstem arousal. Nocturnal groaning (NG) is a parasomnia characterized by an expiratory monotonous vocalization occurring during sleep, especially in REM sleep and during the second half of the night. The pathogenesis of NG remains still unclear and many hypothese arose, ranging from the persistence of a vestigial ventilatory pattern rather than an expiratory upper airways' obstruction. Sleep microstructure fluctuation might modulate the NG, since the end of the NG episode usually is synchronized with a cortical arousal and an autonomic activation Further studies should clarify the pathophysiology of SB and NG, expecially when the two phenomena are associated.

Original languageEnglish
JournalArchives Italiennes de Biologie
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2011

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Cell Biology
  • Physiology


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