If you are a parent and worried about your child’s teeth-grinding habit, this guide is especially for you. Do you hear the harsh sounds of teeth grinding when your child is sleeping? This condition is called bruxism which is quite common in children.
What is bruxism?
The medical term for jaw clenching or teeth grinding is bruxism. Experts say that around 2-3 out of every 10 children have bruxism. However, most children outgrow it. This condition often occurs when your kid is in the deep sleep phase or going through stress.
What are the causes of bruxism?
There’s not a definite reason why bruxism happens. Sometimes, your child may grind teeth if they aren’t properly aligned. Other times, they do it to ease pain, such as teething or an earache. Stress is another possible cause that can lead to this habit. When your child is under stress, anxiety, or anger, it can lead to jaw clenching or teeth grinding. Moreover, children who are hyperactive or have other medical conditions (like cerebral palsy) can likely develop bruxism. So if you want to find out the cause of your child’s condition, feel free to visit our pediatric dentist in Colorado Springs, Co, on San Dario Ave.
What are the effects of bruxism on my child?
Bruxism doesn’t always lead to ill effects. There are many cases when children outgrow it without facing any serious issues. However, your child can experience earaches or headaches due to this condition. Because of constant grinding, bruxism can also wear down your child’s tooth enamel and cause chipped teeth, sensitivity, and jaw problems like temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ).
How to identify that my child has bruxism?
Many kids who have bruxism are not aware of it because it mostly happens when they are asleep. So it is often parents or siblings who identify this problem. If you want to find out whether your child has bruxism, the following are the signs that you need to watch for:
- Harsh sounds like grinding when your child is sleeping
- Complaints of jaw or facial pain after waking up
- Pain while chewing
How to treat Bruxism?
A combination of dental visits and parental observation can help keep bruxism at bay. If your child’s teeth-grinding habit makes them feel pain or damages their teeth, your dentist may prescribe a nightguard. This nightguard is similar to the mouthguard that athletes wear. This will keep the ill effects in check until your child outgrows this condition.
The treatment mainly depends on the causes of bruxism. If this condition is due to stress, your dentist may help control it by prescribing relaxing techniques before bedtime. For example, reading a book or taking a warm shower. Try asking your child what is making them upset and find a way to help them. If these techniques aren’t enough to stop bruxism, your dentist may suggest further evaluation and a proper course of treatment.
Talk to your child
Bruxism, sometimes, occurs as a child’s natural reaction to development and growth. So it is important to talk regularly with your kids and ask them about their feelings. This way, you will know what’s bothering them. It can help you identify the problem and treat it before it adversely affects them.