INTRODUCTION: Higher levels of smoking, leading to increased levels of nicotine and dopamine release, may be more strongly related to bruxism, although this relationship has remained unclear. Thus, the aim of the present study was to investigate the possible effect of cumulative tobacco use on bruxism in a large sample of young adults.
METHODS: The material of the present study derives from the FinnTwin16, which consists of five birth cohorts born in 1975-1979. A total of 3,124 subjects (mean age 24 years, range 23-27 years) provided data in 2000-2002 on frequency of bruxism and tobacco use. Multinomial logistic regression was used to explore the relationships of frequency of bruxism with smoking and smokeless tobacco use while controlling covariates (alcohol intoxication, alcohol problems [Rutgers Alcohol Problem Index, RAPI], illicit drug use, psychological distress [General Health Questionnaire], and coffee use).
RESULTS: Based on subjective response and multivariate analyses, weekly bruxers were more than two times more likely to report heavy smoking than never bruxers (odds ratio [OR] 2.5, 95 % CI 1.8-3.4). The significant association between heavy smoking and bruxism held when the effects of other tobacco use and multiple covariates were controlled. In addition, the use of smokeless tobacco emerged as an independent risk factor for bruxism.
DISCUSSION: Given the observed associations with both heavy smoking and smokeless tobacco and a dose-response relationship, the present results support our hypothesis of a link between nicotine intake and bruxism.