• Sue

Lets talk teeth grinding (bruxism)

Updated: Jun 5

A popular question I ask during some of my consultations is -

Does your child grind their teeth?

As with all my consultations I like to look at the full picture and piece everything together to help parents find a solution to their child's challenges.

Why children grind their teeth.

Nobody knows for sure why children grind their teeth.

There can be a number of reasons.


Lets explore some possible reasons:

  • Their top and bottom teeth aren’t lined up. A dentist can double check this.

  • They have pain somewhere else in their bodies.

  • They’re stressed/ anxious. Feeling unwell or have a change in routine.

  • Child may have a negative experience with illness -so tense their body.

  • They may be deficient in minerals or vitamins (possibly zinc)

  • It can be sensory related -looking at a child's environment to check it is not over stimulating may help

  • Teeth grinding can occur as a result of a clenched jaw. Child becomes disorganised and shuts down and limits their jaw.

  • Teeth grinding can be medical. (Child may have oral motor delay). An OT can assess for this.

  • Some child teeth grind in their sleep. If your child grinds their teeth and snores loudly, breathes with their mouth open, or chokes or gasps while they’re asleep, it’s a good idea to see your GP. This can help rule out issues like sleep apnoea.

  • Some children grind their teeth during the day because they enjoy the feeling.

In most cases, it’s likely to be just a childhood habit your children will grow out of.

I have known many who just stop one day.

Try and be a detective -work out when your child is doing it -what he's doing ?, and how often ?, what is he doing when he's not doing it? We can then support them when we know more.

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