Teeth grinding or bruxism, is the act of involuntarily or habitually grinding teeth, resulting in a harsh sound of enamel rubbing against itself. It is a common problem in children, often occurring during deep sleep or periods of stress. Many children this problem, but parents should remain aware of the issue since it can affect their child’s oral health.
What are the causes of teeth grinding in children?
The root cause of teeth grinding in children is not yet fully understood. It is believed that misaligned teeth or pain from earaches, teething, or toothaches can be contributing factors.
For some children, stress, tension, or anxiety may be the underlying cause of teeth grinding. In situations such as upcoming tests or projects, new teachers or schools, or conflicts with family or friends, teeth grinding may occur. Addressing emotional stress can help to alleviate this habit.
Other than this, certain medications or medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy, can also lead to teeth grinding in children. Consult with your doctor and pediatric dentist in Rutherford if you suspect any of these potential causes.
What are common indicators of teeth grinding in children?
- Chipping: If your child’s teeth have small pieces that are chipped away, this may be due to teeth grinding which causes tension that can break off parts of the tooth.
- Fracture lines: Tiny hairline cracks, also known as fractures or “craze” lines, can be caused by teeth grinding.
- Worn enamel: Tooth enamel can be worn down by the pressure of grinding, just like it can be eroded by sugary or acidic foods.
- Sensitivity: If your child feels pain in their teeth when consuming hot or cold foods, teeth grinding might be the cause.
- Head and earaches: If have ruled out all possibilities of head and earaches, teeth grinding can be the reason.
- Jaw pain: One of the reasons for jaw pain and discomfort is teeth grinding. So, if your child is having jaw pain, the reason can be teeth grinding.
What are the ways to stop teeth grinding in children?
- Encourage relaxation: As stress causes teeth grinding, make sure your child is relxed before bedtime. You should implement some relaxation techniques.
- Use a mouth guard: Wearing a mouth guard can protect your child’s teeth from damage caused by teeth grinding at night.
- Ensure comfortable sleep conditions: Creating a comfortable sleep environment is crucial, including a cozy mattress and pillows, a cool room temperature, and minimal noise.
- Promote good dental hygiene: Practicing good dental hygiene can help prevent dental problems associated with teeth grinding. Encourage your child to brush and floss regularly and visit the dentist for routine checkups.
- Consult a pediatric dentist: It’s essential to have your child’s teeth evaluated by a pediatric dentist to determine the severity of bruxism and recommend treatment options.
Teeth grinding in children seem normal to many parents and they often ignore it. But, the fact is, if teeth grinding is not addressed timely and properly, it can lead to long-term dental issues in your child. So, if you identify the problem, visit a Rutherford pediatric dentist immediately.