I don't know if this is exactly bf related, but I thought I'd ask here to see if anyone has any experience with this, or has ideas of where I could go for more information.
My 2-year-old ds grinds his teeth at night. He has done this for awhile. I don't know if there is anything that can be done about it. His teeth grinding is one symptom, another are his overall bf habbits.
We had a lot of problems when he first started getting teeth. I don't know how he does it, but he nurses with his tongue back in his mouth, so his bottom teeth were scraping me raw. Anyway, the other thing he does is that his jaw clamps down once he starts to drift off to sleep. It is almost like a reflex action for him.
I tried to tap into every resource I could find at the time, from bulletin boards, websites, LLL leaders and groups, and LCs, and no bf resource I found mentioned problems like ours. Through lots of trial-and-error I learned how to cope with this, and we have had a great bf relationship since. We worked hard on his latch, but I still have to keep my thumb on his jaw, and I pull down when he starts to fall asleep, then I slip my finger in and pry his jaw loose at the right time. I've gotten this down to a science.
Anyway, I've started to worry that all of this might be symptoms of some other problem. Or, it might be hindering his jaw development, or cause other problems later, likeTMJ. I'm not exactly staying up nights over this, but it does cross my mind from time to time.
Does anyone have any ideas?
Re: Teeth Grinding
Only a 2nd-hand anecdote -- my sister's son (also breastfed into toddlerhood) ground his teeth while sleeping from a very young age ... and he does in fact have jaw problems now in young adulthood. I don't know how or if it impacted their breastfeeding relationship, nor what measures if any might have corrected the problem early on. I think this is worth investigating, and should be discussed with your son's doctor and later on his dentist.
Re: Teeth Grinding
My middle son had the same problem with not latching correctly and clamping down when he fell asleep. We just dealt with it and he was fine until he weaned himself (kind of early) but he never had any problems with teeth grinding so I'm not sure if they're related.
I can tell you that I have TMJ and I am a teeth grinder. It has been such an awful experience (though not often painful) that's affected so many areas of my life. My jaw has been partially locked for months and the dentist can't seem to fix it. Listen for clicking or grinding when he opens his jaw fully and although not everyone ends up with a case as bad as mine I always suggest getting it checked out b/c prevention is key.
Another thing you might try is chamomile before bed. It doesn't work for me but it's harmless to try.