December 7, 2011 by staff
Grinding Teeth, Zach was a life-long teeth grinder. “It seemed that as soon as his teeth came in, he started grinding,” his mother told me. It was so loud and frequent that Zach was given his own room because his little brother couldn’t get any sleep when they shared. For years he had slept at the end of the hall far from his parents’ and his brother’s room, so one suspected that the grinding was getting worse.
When a dentist noticed a progressive worsening of wear on his patient’s teeth, he discussed his concerns about a possible underlying sleep disorder with both Zach and his mother. They then came to me.
Sleep-related bruxism is the official term for grinding your teeth during sleep. It occurs in approximately 14% to 17% of children, although these rates decrease with age. Bruxism does show a familial pattern but no genes have been identified. It affects both sexes equally.
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