Naturopathic Physician Questions Tooth Disorders

My daughter is grinding her teeth. What could be the reason behind this?

My daughter is 4 years old and has been grinding her teeth very badly. What could be the cause for this? Is it some discomfort? What can i do to ease it for her?

20 Answers

There could be anxiety in the picture. Jaw tension - especially if at night, while sleeping. Mindfulness practices could do wonders for her and EVERYONE in family. When treating a little with a lifestyle intervention, like diet change or mindfulness practice, it is much more meaningful and sustainable to get whole family, at least parents, engaged.
Teeth grinding could be a stress or anxiety response, or a response to pain such as a sinus or ear infection. If children have gastrointestinal infections it'd difficult, or impossible, for them to communicate it. An imbalance in the organisms in their intestines can cause inflammation, stress, anxiety, pain, and more. A stool sample test, I use GI-MAP from Diagnostic Solutions, can help reveal if this is an issue.
There are many potential contributors to/causes of teeth grinding (aka bruxism). It is commonly related to a concurrent sleep disorder. In children, it can also be related to enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Even things like talking in their sleep or enuresis. Stress, anxiety, and ADHD are other possible correlations. I advise your daughter receives a medical workup to assess what may be the underlying cause of her presentation. Knowing that can help it be properly addressed.
This can be a medical problem like pain from teething or earache. If no medical problems, then there is no alarm as most outgrow it.
Grinding the teeth is called Bruxism and can be caused by anything from food allergies/sensitivities (I see wheat/gluten, dairy and food dyes as a common culprit), mental and emotional stress, or possible nutritional deficiencies. Best to speak with your child's pediatrician and consult with a dentist.

Gemie M. McLeod, NMD
Well! There can be lots of factors:

-What is her "stress" level in the home?
-How are you and spouse getting along?
-Has she been traumatized or abused?

My experience is that there is more often than not an underlying stress issue behind this kind of behavior. Then, do you know if she is a mouth breather when she sleeps? Does she wet the bed or have to get up and use restroom at all? If yes to either of the top 2, then she may not be getting into deep sleep. Is she able to go outside especially barefoot and get sunshine? More necessary than we ever thought! See

Of course, clean up her diet (no sugar, peanut butter, corn, white flour, and especially no vegetable oils...only coconut, olive, and butter)


Doc Bob
Many reasons to grind teeth. Please ask her dentist and hygienist for guidance and possible night guard.
There are number of "causes" for teeth grinding however, the most common cause for younger children is a parasitic infestation. You might consider doing a mild parasite cleanse. If she is exposed to animals, you might consider putting them through a cleanse as well!
It’s called Bruxism. Your daughter needs a night guard with a string attached to prevent swallowing the appliance. See your Dentist.
It could be a number of things from stress to growing pain or even that the bottom teeth aren't aligned properly.

Work on reducing possible stressors in her life or daily routines and giving massages for possible muscle pain she may be feeling. You can also have her do stretches before bed.

Often times kids grow out of this.
It's not uncommon for children to grind their sleep (especially in their sleep). It definitely can happen when baby teeth are being lost and permanent teeth are coming in. They do grow out of it. If it's to the point where it's keeping her up at night, causing jaw pain, showing signs of wear or damage to her teeth or gum, definitely talk to her dentist to see what they can help with. What you can do in the meantime, if those issues arise, is find out if she's doing it because of stress, anxiety or nervousness. See if she's getting plenty of water to stay hydrated and start looking into if her diet is involved with what she's doing. I hope this helps.
Although teeth grinding can be caused by stress and anxiety, it often occurs during sleep and is more likely caused by an abnormal bite or missing or crooked teeth. It can also be caused by a sleep disorder such as sleep apnea.


Grinding of teeth (bruxism) in children can be from a wide range of reasons, but typically, we see grinding due to the following: teeth that are not aligned properly, pain (earache or any other pain in the body), stress/agitation, hyperactivity and less commonly parasitic infections (pinworms or other intestinal parasites). With limited information, the best thing I can advise is to speak with your child's pediatrician or other healthcare provider to find the cause and address the problem accordingly.
Teeth grinding is a symptom of stress and anxiety. There are medicinal plants which are safe for children and alleviate stress and anxiety to end teeth grinding.

Typically when we see Bruxism (teeth grinding) it is usually relating to some kind of stress in a child's life. You can try incorporating some down time before bed or relaxation time w/tummy massage or diffuser w/essential oil in your daughter's bedroom to help ease her to sleep and help her stop grinding her teeth. Another thing
that can ease teeth grinding is a good distractor such as a doll or something they can hold or play with like a nubby ball. Something with texture tends to calm children down.

Check diet and look at constipation issues or stomach issues. When children are prone to digestive issues or are not getting enough fluids, they can have teeth grinding issues.

There are a great deal of other factors that can cause teeth grinding. Be sure to get her checked out by her dentist as well.
Most likely parasites cause this....

Lori M. Dubetz, ND
Cervical instability can cause irritation to the nervous system so get checked by a chiropractor that treats children. In addition, foods can irritate many children. Changing the diet can also make a big difference.
Nervousness or intestinal worms