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Bruxism (Teeth grinding in autism)

Bruxism is grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth. It is repetitive masticatory muscle activity, characterized by clenching, tooth grinding, gnashing and/or bracing or thrusting your mandible with circadian symptoms (such as facial tightness, neck pain and insomnia).

Risk Factor

1.  Development of masticatory dysfunction

2.  Result in damaged gum and bone structure

3.  Abnormal wear and tear of teeth

4.  Facial pain

5.   Tooth sensitivity

6.   Wear down tooth enamel

7.   Temporo-mandibular joint( TMJ) problem


·    Stimming

·    Tinnitus (ringing in ear)

·     Anxiety

·    Stress

·     Eating disorder

·     Limited diet

·     Misaligned teeth

·     Oral input – proprioception feedback

·     Side effects of antidepressants

·     Ear infection

·     Hyperactive

Reduce and prevent pain

·    Avoid hard dense or chewy foods like- nuts, bagels, or steak

·    Don’t chew gum

·    Relax facial muscle

·    Massage muscles of neck, shoulder and face

·    Apply wet heat or ice to sore jaw muscles

·    Learn relaxation technique

Prevention and avoid/ reduce/ stop bruxism

1.  Distract by giving chew gums, fidget cubes

2.  Give crunchy foods to eat- popcorn, nuts

3.  Use of social story which shows the repercussions of continue to grind teeth.

4.   Massage the area of jaw

5.   Drink plenty of water

6.   Use of mouth guard/ occlusal splint-for cushioning your teeth from grinding.

7.   Setting calming bed time routine

8.    Help child relax at night by- limit TV and electronics several hours before bed

-     Provide calm music

-    Give warm shower or bath

-     Allow them to read or listen while read

-     Provide calm music

-     Give warm shower or bath

-     Allow them to read or listen while read

Jyoti Kumari

               MOT (0ccupational Therapist)

                                                                           H.O.D. Occupational Therapy

                                                                           Mainstream School for autism

and special care Foundation                      


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