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Bruxism: The Grind of the Matter

Course Number: 485


Teeth grinding may also result as a medication’s side effect among those being treated for depression, developmental disorders, schizophrenia and those taking recreational drugs. Certain medications and drugs act on the brain by stimulating it. The results suggest brain stimulation is believed to contribute to grinding. Scientific data shows several neurotransmitters are involved in the effect of various drugs on bruxism. The dopaminergic systems in the striated body and the frontal lobe of the brain are of special importance, since hyperactivity generates bruxism, particularly the mandibular movement with tooth grinding.4

Common Medications with Side Effects of Bruxism

The following drug classifications may have bruxism as a side effect:

Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors (SSRIs) – Prescribed for depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, seasonal affective disorder, and depressive episodes of bipolar disorder, social phobia, premenstrual dysphoric disorder and menopause.2,36

In some reported cases where bruxism is thought to be initiated by SSRIs, decreasing the dosage may resolve the issue. Other sources state reports of SSRIs causing bruxism are rare and it only happens with long-term use.

Generic Names of Common SSRIsBrand Names of Common SSRIs
BuproprionWellbutrin, Zyban, Aplenzin
FlouxetineProzac, Prozac Weekly Sarafem, Selfmra, Symbyax
FluvoxamineLuvox, Luvox CR
ParoxetineBrisdelle, Paxil, Paxil CR
VenlafaxineEffexor, Effexor XR

Monoamine Oxidase Type B Inhibitors (MAO-B) – Prescribed for Parkinson’s disease and major depressive disorder.2,36

Generic Names of Common MAO-BsBrand Names of Common MAO-Bs
SelegilineApo-Selegiline, Atapryl, Carbex, Eldepryl, Emsam, Gen-Selegiline, Movergan, Novo-Selegiline, Selpak, Zelepar

Dextroamphetemine Sulf-Saccharate – Prescribed for concentration, focus and fidgeting.36

Generic NamesBrand Names
Dextroamphetemine Sulf-Saccharate, Amphetamine Sulf-AsparateAdderall