Bruxism is a much-discussed clinical issue in dentistry. Although bruxism is not a life-threatening disorder, it can influence the quality of human life, especially through dental problems, such as tooth wear, frequent fractures of dental restorations and pain in the oro-facial region. Therefore, various clinical methods have been devised to assess bruxism over the last 70 years. This paper reviews the assessment of bruxism, provides information on various assessment methods which are available in clinical situations and discusses their effectiveness and usefulness. Currently, there is no definitive method for assessing bruxism clinically that has reasonable diagnostic and technical validity, affects therapeutic decisions and is cost effective. One future direction is to refine questionnaire items and clinical examination because they are the easiest to apply in everyday practice. Another possible direction is to establish a method that can measure actual bruxism activity directly using a device that can be applied to patients routinely. More clinical studies should examine the clinical impact of bruxism on oral structures, treatment success and the factors influencing the decision-making process in dental treatment.
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