Teeth grinding is a common issue among children that most typically occurs during sleep or under stress. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, if left unaddressed can result in more serious dental problems and concerns. According to the Nemours Foundation
, 2 to 3 out of 10 children grind their teeth, although most of those children eventually outgrow it.
The Dangers Of Tooth Grinding
Bruxism can cause negative effects on a child’s dental condition in both their youth and adulthood. Children affected by bruxism typically clench their jaws and grind their teeth against each other. Children may not even realize that they do it, which can make it difficult to identify the problem and consequently extend the length in which the problem goes untreated.
Teeth grinding can result in a number of problems such as:
- Worn Down Tooth Enamel
- Chipped Teeth
- Temperature Sensitivity
- Sore or Painful Jaws
- Loose Teeth
- Tooth Pain
- Jaw Misalignment
- Loss Of Teeth
- Earaches Or Hearing Damage
- Pain When Chewing
- TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disease)
- Extensive Tooth Damage Requiring Crowns, Bridges, Or Dental Implants
Teeth grinding if left untreated long enough can result in serious dental problems as smaller effects compound and grow.
Identifying Bruxism In Children
A large number of children with bruxism are unaware that they are grinding their teeth. If you suspect that your child grinds their teeth, you will want to watch for certain telltale signs:
- Grinding Noises While They Sleep
- Complaints of Pain When Chewing
- Complaints Of A Sore Jaw
- Frequent Headaches Or Earaches
- Worn Down Teeth Or Tooth Enamel
Experienced pediatric dentists, such as our team at Adaven Children’s Dentistry, has the knowledge and experience to identify a potential problem with tooth grinding in children and quickly work to treat the problem before it can cause more serious issues or damage.
Causes Of Bruxism
A root cause of tooth grinding has not yet been identified, however, there are many factors that are known to contribute to it. The American Dental Association has said that children could grind their teeth due to medical or dental issues such as allergies, misaligned bite, missing or crooked teeth or other forms of oral irritations. They may also grind their teeth as a reaction to pain or an attempt to ease pain.
Among other suspected causes of teeth grinding are stress, anxiety, or hyperactivity. As a child learns to handle stress or difficult situations, they might reflexively begin to grind their teeth as a response to situations they may not understand or know how to cope with.
Children with medical conditions such as cerebral palsy or those on some medications have also been found to grind their teeth.
Treating Bruxism In Children
The first step in addressing teeth grinding in children is to schedule an appointment with your child’s dentist. A dentist will best be able to examine teeth for affected or chipped enamel or unusually worn down teeth or oral sensitivity. Along with a visual and physical oral exam, your child’s dentist will know certain questions to ask your child in order to determine if the cause of their bruxism is anatomical or psychological.
While most children will outgrow teeth grinding, some require addressing the problem quicker before damage can be down. Often, a pediatric dentist will recommend a specialized mouth guard to be worn at night. These mouth guards are specifically made and molded to a child’s teeth and help to protect teeth. In more serious cases with anatomical issues, a child may be referred to an orthodontist.
Adave Children’s Dentistry has the dedicated experience needed to best identify and treat teeth grinding in children. Our team is committed to providing excellent dental care to children of all ages. If you are worried about bruxism, or teeth grinding, in your child, contact us today at (702) 492-1955 to schedule an appointment.
Adaven Children’s Dentistry
2843 St. Rose Pkwy Suite 100
Henderson, NV 89052