Nearly one in 10 children are diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) — and the numbers are rising. Thankfully, there are ways of keeping symptoms, such as behavioral problems, completely under wraps and doing it without medication. Believe it or not, these behavior problems often start with children’s teeth and overall dental health. Here are a few things to consider.
Bruxism Is A Leading Cause Of Sleeping Problems
Bruxism, or teeth grinding, can lead to chronic sleeping problems and/or it may be a symptom of sleeping disorders — and not just in adults. Children who grind their teeth also have problems sleeping, according to healthcare experts. “Nighttime symptoms of youngsters with sleep-related breathing disorders are: snoring, bruxism, mouth breathing, bed wetting, frequent awakenings, nightmares, insomnia and physically restless sleep,” USA Today writes. “Resulting daytime symptoms and findings are neurocognitive impairment, headaches, hyperactivity, behavioral issues, tiredness, and poor school performance.”
Sleep Problems Linked With Poor Child Behavior
In other words, children are often misdiagnosed. Doctors prescribe ADHD medication when they really should be treating children’s symptoms, like bruxism. A dentist can help children — and people of all ages — find relief from nighttime grinding with a custom-made dental device. Night mouth guards prevent all kinds of common dental problems, including two of the most common: tooth grinding and sleep apnea. In many cases, treating teeth grinding will help children sleep better at night — which will ultimately reduce behavioral problems and improve academic performance. As it stands, about five to 20% of people in the U.S. grind their teeth… and many of them are children.
Poor behavior in children and poor academic performance may be misdiagnosed as ADHD or attributed to the disorder only. In reality, many children can get partial — or complete — relief from symptoms by sleeping better at night and treating the underlying cause of sleeping problems, tooth grinding.