M.D. asks from Carrollton, TX on April 12, 2010
Teeth Grinding at night/Bruxism
I have a 4 year old who has started to grind his teeth at night. Not all night, but sometimes its so loud it sounds like glass grinding. I was wondering if anyone else has a child with this, I think its called Bruxism, how did you deal with it, besides with a mouth brace...I know my son won't go for it. Thanks again for any and all advice.
T.B. answers from Chicago on April 12, 2010
I grind my teeth at night and just recently got a night guard for it. I'm not sure there is much more that you can do to prevent it, as they are unconsciously doing it and have no control over it. Take your son to a dentist and let them know what is going on. He might outgrow it, but it might be a life-long habit, in which case he's going to have to get used to wearing a night guard, starting now. He's young, he'll adjust.
S.H. answers from Grand Rapids on April 12, 2010
My father grinds, I grind, and now my 7 yo grinds. I grind so loud that I used to wake my sister from across the room when I was little. It just can't be stopped sometimes (which is really irritating because insurance companies blame it on adult stress, and won't pay for it like they do a regular medical condition!). Check with your dentist... mine is really big on the new neuromuscular dentistry techniques and that may work on your son. He could still grow out of it, especially if he is going through something particularly stressful right now. I didn't start wearing a bite splint until 6th grade. I wear it every single night without fail, and my teeth are fine.
D.C. answers from Dallas on April 12, 2010
Has he lost any teeth recently? My daughter is also four and has recently started grinding her teeth while sleeping. It seems to have started around the time she lost her first tooth and the permanent tooth started growing in. I'm guessing it has something to do with the new teeth, but I plan to ask her dentist when we're there next month.
D.N. answers from Dallas on April 13, 2010
Hi M., My son is almost 9 and we went through this and it worried me so much. He started when he was a toddler and it was so bad that ALL of his teeth were completely flat across. I took him to the dentist and they said it was normal for boys to grind at night. And that I should not worry and that when his permanent teeth came in he would stop. And I believe he has, because they are not flattened at all. He has all of his front permanent teeth so those were the teeth that helped him stop. We never used a mouth guard either. But just to let you know that I'm not sure if this was exactly why, but my son would wake up very cranky and when I looked it up on the internet it showed that grinding their teeth makes them very cranky because they are not sleeping well from the grinding. He would really be awful in the morning and now I can say that he doesn't do that anymore. I really don't know for sure if that's really what it was but I read that those could be intertwined. I hope this helps you cause I know it can weigh on your mind.
S.R. answers from Dallas on April 13, 2010
Cranio Sacral Massage Therapy can really help. It's light touch, safe for newborns through the elderly. My youngest had his first massage at 4 days old. You stay with your son and read stories or play with toys while the massage therapist works. It may look goofy, or like the therapist isn't doing anything, but in my experience, it helps a lot. www.kenpiercy.com is my guy.
I clench my teeth and wear a night guard. Since I've been having cranio massages, I clench less and don't wake up with headaches and jaw pain unless something unusually stressful is going on.
SAHM of 3
T.F. answers from Dallas on April 12, 2010
My daughter does not do it but I do and I have a very long time. You can't just stop it.
I had great teeth with no decay, HOWEVER, I have 6 crowns and about to get another one becuase I grind so bad I crack my teeth. I've gone through 2 guards that were $500 each from the dentist.
I know I don't do it all the time, it comes in waves. I know when I have been though, because my head aches and jaws are stiff in the am.
See the pedi dentist and try to get a guard now.