Takafumi Kato: “Neurophysiological mechanisms for the genesis of tooth grinding during sleep”

November 6, 2014  Friday Lunch Seminar
12:15 〜 13:00

CiNet 1F Conference Room

“Neurophysiological mechanisms for the genesis of tooth grinding during sleep”

Takafumi Kato

Osaka University Graduate School of Dentistry, Department of Oral Anatomy and Neurobiology


One can experience that a peaceful sleep is interrupted by the bizarre tooth grinding sounds coming from sleeping roommates or bed partners. Tooth grinding during sleep is not a rare phenomenon as it is reported by approximately 30% in children and 10% of adults. The frequent tooth grinding is a characteristic sign of sleep bruxism (SB), a sleep related movement disorder. Sleep bruxism is clinically significant in dentistry since patients with SB can be associated with tooth wear, dental restoration fractures, jaw muscle discomfort or pain, temporomandibular joint problems and headache. In the polysomnographic evaluation, tooth grinding is found to be associated with increased number and intensity of rhythmic jaw-closing muscle contractions, suggesting that neural subpopulations within the innate masticatory rhythm generator can be exaggeratedly activated. Nonetheless, sleep architectures are not severely disturbed by the rhythmic jaw motor events. Although a specific brain area triggering masticatory rhythm generator during sleep remains to be determined, the occurrence of rhythmic jaw motor events are correlated with ultradian sleep cycles, periodic arousal fluctuation and desynchronized cortical activity as well as the transient activation of cardiac and respiratory system. Therefore, annoying tooth grinding during sleep represents a unique rhythmic motor activity driven by facilitatory influences generated under cyclic sleep regulatory processes.

About CiNet’s Friday Lunch Seminars:
The Friday Lunch Seminar is CiNet’s main regular meeting series, held every week at 12:15 in the beautiful main lecture theatre on the ground floor at CiNet. The talks are typically 40mins long and orientated towards an inter-disciplinary audience. They are informal, social, and most people bring their own lunch to eat during the talk. They are open to anyone who is feeling curious and wants to come, regardless of where you work.