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Possible causes of Teeth Grinding (3 viewing)
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TOPIC: Possible causes of Teeth Grinding
#204
HellenFisher DCA Team (Admin)
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Possible causes of Teeth Grinding 20/01/2009 12:27  
We received an interestng question from a therapist who had seen a lady with dementia.The daughter of this particular lady mentioned that her mother had recently started grinding her teeth and she was wondering what may be causing this new behaviour. We thought that our members may have some terrific ideas on the causes and solutions to this perplexing issue.

Repetitive behaviours such as teeth grinding may be an indication of an unmet need. These behaviours can successfully be understood as an attempt to problem-solve, express distress or communicate unmet needs (physical, environmental or emotional).

Examples of unmet physical needs can be inflammations and other medical illness, constipation, hunger or thirst, pain etc. Unmet environmental needs can be anything from the experience of home, peace and quiet, or a personally chosen chair.

In the Spark of Life Approach to dementia care, the five most common unmet emotional needs are:
1. To be needed and useful
2. To have opportunity to care
3. To love and be loved
4. To have self-esteem boosted
5. To have the power to choose

Could it be that this lady is experiencing anger as a result of an unmet need? It may be helpful to check her surroundings to ensure that her physical, environmental, and emotional needs are being met.

Perhaps you have experienced a similar challenge with a person who has dementia and we encourage you to share your experiences and insight.
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#218
tiffanynurk (User)
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Re:Possible causes of Teeth Grinding 23/02/2009 10:44  
Hi. In my time at aged care I have had only one person that I know of for teeth grinding and this was due to her dementia and the nurses told me it also had to do with her medication. The most unfortunate thing was that she still had her own teeth.Im sorry I could not be any help.
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#649
carolrussell (User)
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Re:Possible causes of Teeth Grinding 13/09/2011 18:19  
My Mother, who lives with me,started grinding her teeth a couple of months ago. She has dementia, short term memory and cognitive problems. She also has no insight and is in complete denial regarding her present state of health. Mum says she is eating/chewing something, not grinding. I have taken her to the dentist who states she is chipping her teeth and that is maybe what she is chewing, the bits breaking off her teeth. He states it has now also become a habit. The dentist says that the only cure is muscle relaxants but as she is already at a high risk of falling this is not an option. Mum is on an EACH-D package. I know it sounds silly but this is, I fear, going to be the straw that broke the camels back....It sounds like nails being dragged down a blackboard. If you haven't heard it you cannot undertand how loud it is. We can hear her coming all the way down the hallway. I am having huge difficulty coping with this as it is almost continual. If I (or indeed any of the carers who spend time with her) mention the grinding, she gets very angry and verbally abusive. I want to keep Mum home but my husband is having trouble with coping with this latest problem, as obviously am I. Any ideas, I am at my wits end....
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#650
carolrussell (User)
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Re:Possible causes of Teeth Grinding 13/09/2011 18:42  
forgot on my previous post, Mum's podiatrist (yes, I know the other end really) states that she is used to teeth grinding as many of her patients with cognitive problems do this
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#655
Booee (User)
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Re:Possible causes of Teeth Grinding 04/10/2011 16:45  
A good pain assessment is always warranted. I haven't seen this in older people, but children grind their teeth sometimes when they have worms. Sounds awful, but if a person has been living with animals, and has forgotten some of their basic hygeine, it could be possible.
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