Recently, researchers in Colombia investigated whether dietary habits and parent-reported sleep teeth grinding were positive predictors of tooth wear.
Tooth wear is often defined as the decrease or loss of tooth substance. There are three main causes for tooth wear: attrition, abrasion, and erosion. Some research has demonstrated that as children grow older, tooth wear also increases.Tooth wear that results from teeth grinding (or bruxism) against one another is called attrition. Abrasion causes tooth wear when the tooth substance is scraped off by physical means other than teeth, including aggressive tooth brushing or nail-biting. Lastly, erosion contributes to tooth wear through excess acids from acidic foods or drinks such as sodas or citrus fruits.
Is Tooth Wear Caused by Sleep Grinding?
Researchers performed this study to establish whether dietary habits and parent-reported sleep teeth grinding (STG) were associated with tooth wear. They recently published their results in the BMC Oral Health. Researchers recruited a total of 121 children from a pediatric dentistry program in Medellin, Colombia. They evaluated tooth wear using three dental instruments.Sleep teeth grinding was measured by having parents complete a 35-item questionnaire that inquired about the sleep habits of their children (with a focus on teeth grinding). The Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children Food-Frequency Questionnaire was given to parents and used to collect data on the dietary habits of children.
Limited Association Found
Increased tooth wear was found to be mildly associated with the consumption of milk products, sweets, fruits, and vegetables. However, the association between dietary habits and tooth wear were judged to be quite weak. Researchers discovered that a positive relationship between parental-reported sleep teeth grinding and tooth wear was only observed for particular teeth, and this association was also very weak. The results of this study were dissimilar to the results of other studies conducted on the subject of tooth wear and sleep teeth grinding among children.
The results of this study have important implications as they can be used to further investigate the acceptability of viewing tooth wear as a definite sign of teeth grinding. These results indicate that the cause of tooth wear is multi-factorial and further research will be needed to identify the factors involved.
Written by Melissa Booker
Reference: Restrepo, C., Manfredini, D., Manrique, R., & Lobbezoo, F. (2017). Association of dietary habits and parental reported sleep teeth grinding with tooth wear in children with mixed dentition, BMC Oral Health 17(156), 1–9. https://doi.org/10.1186/s12903-017-0447-5