Sleep bruxism (or grinding teeth at night) is a movement disorder that is characterized by habitual, non-functional and forceful teeth contact (grinding and clenching of teeth) during sleep. Diagnosis of sleep bruxism is often done using four criteria: anterior teeth wear, posterior teeth occlusal wear, report of frequent noises of teeth grinding during sleep, and a white line at buccal mucosa. The causes of sleep bruxism is not well understood, however some possible factors lie in the central nervous system, psychosocial and genetic influences. The typical therapeutic approach to sleep bruxism is the use of dental appliances, however it has been reported that specific and effective treatments are not well established.
A 9-year-old child started Chiropractic care after his mother was concerned about her son grinding his teeth loudly at night, which has been persistent for four years. A posture examination revealed a significantly higher left hip and right shoulder, and occiput with significant forward head tilt of 2-3 centimetres. Initial chiropractic examination for vertebral subluxation revealed a number of subluxations throughout his spine.
Chiropractic care was performed over a period of four weeks where the child was seen twice per week.
During the course of chiropractic care, the child experienced a significant improvement in sleep bruxism, as reported by the mother. By the third visit, a continued reduction in sleep bruxism intensity was reported along with the patient’s behavior being reported as less hyperactive and more relaxed. Posture examination at the end of care also showed improvements in hip and shoulder levels with reduced forward head tilt.
Russell, D. (2017). Reduction of Sleep Bruxism in a 9-year-old Child Receiving Chiropractic Care for Vertebral Subluxation: ACase Report. Retrieved from: http://www.mccoypress.net/jpmfh/docs/2017-1524_Russell_SleepBruxism.pdf