QUESTION: What to Do about Teeth Grinding?

QUESTION:

We are having MAJOR teeth grinding issues with a 6-year-old child with Down Syndrome. We have tried chewies (produces too much saliva and throws them), vibrating toothbrush (over it now), will not tolerate mouth brushing/pressure techniques, oral stim like sour patch kids, gum—can’t do and doesn’t work. Do you have any other suggestions?

GWEN’S ANSWER:

Sounds like you have addressed the issue thoroughly from a sensory perspective. Since that’s not working, I am inclined to think something else is causing the teeth grinding: tooth pain, jaw pain, cranio-sacral issues, and earaches can cause teeth grinding. The following is an excerpt from WebMD: “No one knows exactly why children grind their teeth but considerations include improperly aligned teeth or irregular contact between upper and lower teeth, illnesses, and other medical conditions (such as nutritional deficiencies, pinworm, allergies, endocrine disorders), and psychological factors including anxiety and stress.”

I would recommend a thorough dental and medical exam to rule out orthopedic, dental, and medical/nutritional concerns contributing to the problem.

Best Wishes,
Gwen