15 doctors weighed in:

My 4 year old constantly grinds/grits his teeth in his sleep. What could be the reason for this?

15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Pediatrics
7 doctors agree

In brief: Normal

Many children grind their teeth at night.
It is not uncommon or concerning under ten years old unless your child is literally grinding down his teeth. You can have him checked for pinworms as well..It is not a myth. The worms irritate the anus at night and cause itching that leads to grinding. I do not see this as a common cause for tooth grinding but it is worth exploring.

In brief: Normal

Many children grind their teeth at night.
It is not uncommon or concerning under ten years old unless your child is literally grinding down his teeth. You can have him checked for pinworms as well..It is not a myth. The worms irritate the anus at night and cause itching that leads to grinding. I do not see this as a common cause for tooth grinding but it is worth exploring.
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Dr. Cornelia Franz
Thank
1 comment
Dr. Thomas Riney
not to worry, this is normal
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Pediatrics
3 doctors agree

In brief: Stress, malocclusion

Bruxism is name for grinding teeth.
In 4 yr old can be normal, usually not lasting very long. But could also be due to maloccluded teeth, stress or tension (more so in older child), or acid reflux. This very common condition has not been studied adequately to give better answers. Fortunately it often goes away without treatment. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bruxism/ds00337/dsection=causes.

In brief: Stress, malocclusion

Bruxism is name for grinding teeth.
In 4 yr old can be normal, usually not lasting very long. But could also be due to maloccluded teeth, stress or tension (more so in older child), or acid reflux. This very common condition has not been studied adequately to give better answers. Fortunately it often goes away without treatment. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/bruxism/ds00337/dsection=causes.
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Dr. Carla Enriquez
Thank
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dentistry - Orthodontics
2 doctors agree

In brief: 2 main reasons

One reason is that jaws grow unevenly, a little here, a little there.
Kids "grind-in" their occlusions to accommodate. Second reason is they learn so much during the day, they back up the "computer" @ night. Grinding should diminish to disappear as the permanent teeth start to erupt. If occlusion is a problem, remember 1st orthodontic ck-up age 7.

In brief: 2 main reasons

One reason is that jaws grow unevenly, a little here, a little there.
Kids "grind-in" their occlusions to accommodate. Second reason is they learn so much during the day, they back up the "computer" @ night. Grinding should diminish to disappear as the permanent teeth start to erupt. If occlusion is a problem, remember 1st orthodontic ck-up age 7.
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Dr. Arnold Malerman
Thank
Dr. Roberto Estrada
Pediatrics
1 doctor agrees

In brief: Stress and allergies

Explore allergies and stressors anxiety and ear infections .
And pain could cause teeth grinding.

In brief: Stress and allergies

Explore allergies and stressors anxiety and ear infections .
And pain could cause teeth grinding.
Dr. Roberto Estrada
Dr. Roberto Estrada
Thank
Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Cindy Juster
Board Certified, Pediatrics
33 years in practice
2M people helped
Continue
108,000 doctors available
Read more answers from doctors