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My mother’s been grinding her teeth with a fury for almost a year now. She’s bedridden and in late stage Lewy Body Alzheimer’s. We’ve tried Klonopen which hasn’t helped much. The best thing that works for a few minutes at a time is a ritz cracker of all things. A straw is somewhat useful but she sucks in air. Any other suggestions???? She has some good days here and there but the bad ones are ahhhhhh

Another thought...
I think that some people with dementia experience "pain" differently than they did when their brains were working.
There were a few times when I though that my Husband should have expressed pain and he showed no reaction. (although he always had a VERY high threshold for pain)
I don't know if this is true for all. I know reading some posts here where the person says they are in pain I wonder if this is not just out of habit in some cases, they have been complaining about pain for years so it continues.
If you can get a swab into her mouth Oil of Clove will help nerve pain in teeth. I have used it before I could get to a dentist when I needed a root canal.
Not sure if they still sell it but there is the gum numbing oral ointment, I know it is not recommended to be used for teething but I would work on an adult.

I made the decision not to have dental work done on my Husband for several reasons.
1. He would have to go under anesthesia and I did not want that.
2. I would have had to deal with open wounds in his mouth and him not understanding why.
3. The gums did not look inflamed and he ate normally so it did not seem to effect him.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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There are devices that a dentist can make for the patient to wear for this medical condition known as bruxism.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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My husband used to grind his teeth as well. No medication helped him with that problem. He ended up fracturing his teeth and having them all removed.
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Reply to JoyHill
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Talk with her doctor, it could also be tardive dyskinesia - a side of effect of many psych meds that causes unwanted muscle movements.
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Reply to Taarna
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I wouldnt suggest a mouth guard. She will never use it and will probably toss it across the room. I'm thinking it might be a side effect of a medication. I'd check labels and google side effects. Perhaps that can be adjusted or changed?
Ggood luck, that must feel awful for her and for you to watch it happen. Good luck.
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Do not buy one of the over the counter guards. They don't custom fit and can cause significant problems. I was stupid enough to do it and paid the price. Also yes in her condition would be a choking hazard, no doubt.
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Reply to Upstream
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Okay, last post from me on this topic, I hope! Google “teeth grinding & vitamin deficiency”. What I read indicated it could be a calcium and/or magnesium deficiency. Anyway, maybe just ask the doc to draw labs. That may end up being the quickest & easiest solution. 😻😻
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lilsta Sep 16, 2019
great suggestion! Thanks
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You mention that due to her facial expressions you are concerned that she might be in pain.
Are there any other indications that she is in pain?
If this is a result of pain muscle relaxers will not work, medications for anxiety would not work they will just mask the outward appearance that is an indication of pain.
If you talk to her quietly will she stop grinding her teeth? If you give her something to do will she stop?
My Husband liked to chew on a blanket while he was awake. I know he would grind his teeth when he was sleeping. He was non verbal so facial expressions were the main thing I had to go by to gauge pain. He did make noises when he was chewing on the blanket so I would judge by his noise level if he was in pain. (he would make mumbling sounds, moaning sounds and other noises but no words)
I did try other things for him to chew. I tried Baby Teething rings of various types. Crazy as it sounds I tried different dog toys. You could try those. Popsicle's, Fudgesicle's, frozen fruit, frozen bread might work.
I would hesitate on the mouth guards unless you are sure that they could not slip out of place and become a choke hazard.
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lilsta Sep 16, 2019
I’ve tried talking softly to her, massage her jaw and gently stroking her hair and none of the above seems to make a difference. She’s broken several teeth so I’m guessing there’s nerve pain. It sounds like this is just another thing that happens to some in this late stage of the horrible disease. God help us all 😞
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Oops! The chewing ice post I made..... it was an iron deficiency NOT vitamin D. Yikes! I should’ve stayed in bed today or at least not tried communicating w/anyone yet! So sorry!
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jacobsonbob Sep 16, 2019
heysilky, FWIW one can correct a comment or reply via the "Edit" button as long as the post being answered is still open. You can even delete everything by using the "X". If you post a response and want to retract it, you can use the "Edit" feature and while open then use the "X" to eliminate it.

I appreciate this feature this forum has. I make comments on Yahoo articles (where it's especially easy to make a mistake because of the ridiculously small viewing area one has while typing!) and on YouTube, but neither website allows editing after the comment has been posted.
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Hi there!

A friend of mine did that so furiously that it drove her boss nuts & demanded she get it seen to. So, after telling her family doctor about it he said he bet she was seriously in need of vitamin D. Sure enough, after a blood test, that’s was it. She had to take mega doses of vitamin D for a period of time and now is on a daily maintenance dose. Stopped the problem almost immediately! (Oh wait, now that I’ve typed all that I think her problem was chewing ice. Sheesh! Sorry.) We’ll, it’s kinda along the same thing so maybe it wouldn’t hurt to have her doc check her labs.

Good luck!
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I know how annoying it is to hear people grinding their teeth, as it is so similar to a Child scraping their knife & fork and it is dreadful. This will seem a stupid Question, but does Your Mom wear a set of false teeth ? If so remove and hide as Your Mom will manage to eat with out teeth, and You will enjoy the quietness. The reason I ask is this ! I am 59 years young, and I have no teeth and never wore false teeth.
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my2cents Sep 16, 2019
If dentures are involved, it is likely they no longer fit correctly and may need to be fixed by a dentist.
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Have you tried a rubber mouth guard? You can buy them at the pharmacy. These guards are pliable and mold to the person's lower teeth. The other thought I have is have you spoken with your dentist? He/she may have some ideas as well.
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Grandma1954 Sep 16, 2019
This could create a choke hazard if it were to come off.
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This must be so frustrating for you and her.
Be careful with the muscle relaxants as they suppress respiration. I saw that you have tried klonopin(same for respiration)....I did too for my mom but it increased her dementia terribly!
Warm compresses 2-3 times a day, and incorporate gentle massage on her mandibles and scalenes. Good quality, PURE essential oils would be great here... go easy, they're potent.
Also, mix with a carrier oil like coconut. *lavender, valerian, geranium, roman chamomile, ylang-ylang, frankincense, juniper, peppermint... whatever helps her to relax.
Maybe mix up a small amount and let her massage it into her face herself, if she's able. It will not only add the oils, but give her something that diverts her focus.
Does she see a chiropractor? If so, mention this...often I find an adjustment helps.
Some other things are: maybe have her read, recite or sing, give her some passive mouth "exercises" to do. It will help relax her and keep her mouth too busy to grind. Put her brain on a different track.
Good luck dear, I know this is hard.
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Reply to EnduringLife
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My neighbor had muscle relaxers for that problem. (Taken only at nite). She took 1/2 pill cuz she's tiny. Otherwise if mom can chew gum without choking, that's what I use when I'm having tension & grinding my teeth. Is mom having lots of anxiety? (If so, cud she have a benzo prescription)? Just sayin'. Best wishes.
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lilsta Sep 13, 2019
Good idea about the muscle relaxers. Thanks I’ll look into that : )
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Why are you worried?

I am thinking it maybe time to pick your battles.

Yes her teeth may break, but how long does she have and will it matter.
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lilsta Sep 12, 2019
It’s not a matter of being “worried” as much as it is a feeling of concern that she’s in pain based on her facial expressions. This is a battle worth fighting if there’s something I could do to help. If not, then I can accept it and move on 🤷🏻‍♀️ijs
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Another suggestion is the disposable medical sponge sticks / oral cleaning swabs.
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Reply to Ricky6
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That’s a good idea but it’s impossible to pry her mouth open to get a mouth guard in at this point. She clenches down like a pit bull!
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Some drug stores sell teeth guards that you mold by yourself at home.
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AlvaDeer Sep 11, 2019
I have used these and it takes hot water and pretty much a lot of knowhow to get them at all right. I also worry with the end stage Lewy's about choking because the swallow reflex can get pretty weak. But these are great for lots of things, so thanks for mentioning them.
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If you cannot get her to a dentist for a fitted bite block, you can try a sports teeth protector. There is a fitted kind where you put it in hot water then it molds to the teeth
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