Grinding teeth | Autism PDD


Cheryl. GREAT point! We used aquarium tubing, boiled first and then thrown in the dishwasher every evening, cut in safe length pieces. We attempted (so-so success) to redirect him when he was griting his teeth. We also have tried, the small saf t suckers and even several teething toys for babies (he is 4) with minimal success. Oh, we also tried those shoe string licoricse (sp) thingies.

Perhaps an OT with sensory certification, can help you decide if this is sensory or a combination of factors? Good luck, I know it is troublsome.

My son started grinding his teeth last year, it really was scary, I was afraid he was going to break his teeth right off. It started about the same time we tried him on an SSRI (which we have decided he cannot take, due to aggression). I just happened to mention it to the Dr and was told that it can be a side effect of the medicine that he just happened to be taking. Off the medicine and it stopped within a week.

I grit my teeth and clinch my jaw, always have, but it is not the same as what my son was doing as a side effect of the Zoloft.

I can certainly understand your concern, because I have been there myself. Hope it works out.


I know Jeffrey's latest thing, or maybe not the latest thing, but irritates me to no end is him cracking his bones.  And I know his dad did this alot too.  Both Gabe and Jeffrey have the same dad.    He even does it to his toes and in his sleep!!!!!  I have a hard enough time getting my neck to crack and he can do this at the drop of the hat with no effort whatsoever.  And when my knee pops, boy, does it hurt, lol.  Oh to be that  young again with no pain whatsoever.



OMG I am a bone cracker too!  LOL  Yes, even my toes in my sleep.  All I have to do is flex them and POP! 

And Julian is a grinder in his sleep big time, especially if he's had a stressful or busy day.  I grind when I'm concentrating and I didn't notice it until recently.

Sometimes the teeth grinding can also be for the sensory input. I have read books by higher functioning people with autism who have said that they need to do something with their mouths to relieve stress. I have used therapy tube with my son as he seemed to need to have things in his mouth all the time.

Maybe your son has a bit of both. The inherited part and the autism part. I bought therapy tube from the local ot. I just gave them a call and it was A a metre. I cut it into several pieces and boiled it to clean it periodically.

My son was a terrible shirt sucker and biter too, we had thrown out so many shirts. I used the tube whenver he was sucking his shirt and now he doesn't do that anymore.

Certainly if your ds is chewing on the tube it well help to prevent damage to his teeth.

Good luck.
Leo also likes to pop his joints in and out His OT noticed it and so did I, probably double jointed but it's weird to watch him do it or feel him do it. He can pop every joint in and out and it doesnt seem to bother him. I'm just worried with the teeth grinding he will wear his teeth down or break them, I need to bring this up with his Dr next week, Ahh the joys of having children My daughter also grinds her teeth when she is Angry or upset!  She also bites her nails! My dh says i grind my teeth in my sleep also!!  We talked to our doctor about both of these things.. SHe also sugessted giving her suckers and licroice! None have been sucessful!My son has been grinding or chomping his teeth for about a year now, we do know that he has fluid buildup in both ears and sometimes I wonder if it's to relieve the pressure or if it's part of his dx. He does it all day and seems to do it more when he's nervous or scared. I was wondering if anyone else has experienced this?

Gabe does that in his sleep.  But his dad did that in his sleep too.  I don't think it is part of the dx though.  I do believe in my case some traits like that are just inherited.  Like Gabe sleeps exactly like his dad does.  It is very uncanny.  And their dad isn't even around.


Our whole family does this! Me and my wife grind in our sleep (wear mouth guards) and our son grinds his teeth when he's really excited and doing his pseudo-affectionate squeeze stimming (he growls, squeezes our arms/hands/legs and grits his teeth).

Man, I hope his stims die down... 

I was told right after Jeffrey was diagnosed that generally when they drop one stim they will pick up another stim.  And their new stim you might not like.  Jeffrey has been stuck on his paper shredding stim for years.  And just not any paper.  No, it has to be Hewlett Packard printing paper.  Which can get expensive.


When my son got dx nobody told me about stims, so I guess when Leo starts doing something different I automatically link it to his dx, never occured to me to think about his teeth grinding as being inherited Now that I look back on it my brother used to do it all the time when he was little and also when he was sleeping. Since he turned 3 he has started to do a lot of stuff that he never did before, and trying to tell if its the dx or his age can be frustrating. Maybe I should stop stressing