Teeth grinding – professionally referred to as “Bruxism” – is a common occurrence among children that can result in serious oral health concerns.
According to the Nemours Foundation up to three out of ten kids grind their teeth.
While most will grow out of the condition, it could result in the erosion of tooth enamel. The underlying cause of the condition is unknown. Misalignment of the teeth is suspected. Other suspected causes include anxiety, high stress levels, hyperactivity, pain, reactions to medication, and as a result of underlying medical conditions, such as cerebral palsy.
“Take care of your teeth and they will take care of you….” – Unknown
Children that suffer from bruxism may exhibit many common symptoms. These include the following:
- Sounds of grinding from the mouth, especially during the night
- Swelling of the lower jaw region
- Contractions of the jaw muscles
- Pain in the muscles of the jaw
- Pain throughout the face
Determining if a Child has Bruxism
Children who grind their teeth often do not realize that they are doing it. If you suspect bruxism, simply listen to your child while they sleep. Additionally, if complaints are made pertaining to chewing, talking, or pain in the face, teeth grinding could be the culprit.
Emotional complications and stressors in the child’s life could be the reason for the issue. In many instances, addressing underlying causes could resolve the issue.
If you determine that your child has an issue with grinding their teeth, you should set up an appointment with a pediatric dentist for a complete checkup.
They will be able to determine if the child does, in fact, have bruxism and create a customized treatment plan for the condition. This could include the integration of medical treatments, a prescription mouth guard to wear during nighttime hours, the use of specially-designed oral health care products, and handling any oral health problems – such as tooth misalignments.
“A smile is a curve that sets everything straight….” – Phyllis Diller
Basic Statistics and Outcomes
Based on information derived from the American Sleep Association (ASA), Bruxism is commonly considered to be a type of sleep disorder. It occurs before the onset of the deep sleep cycle. It affects about 10% of all adults and approximately 15% of all kids. If an individual is part of a family where the condition is common, it could affect as many as 50% of all people.
When teeth grinding occurs, the incisors and the canines in the mouth move in a lateral position against one another. As a result, tooth decay involving the enamel will occur. Additionally, the generally sharp biting surfaces of the impacted teeth become dulled. Previous dental work may be negatively impacted, pain and structural complications may occur within the jaw and surrounding structures, and sleep disruptions may develop, which could lead to general health problems.
“Make a smile your signature accessory….” – sweetandspark.com
Get Help Today
While teeth grinding in kids may be considered a challenging issue, it is possible to seek out help so that the child is able to successfully overcome the problem. In doing so, you are not only helping your child avoid teeth decay, but, you are also helping them to avoid complications like tooth sensitivity, and temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
We here at Richmond Pediatric Dentistry are ready to help you.
Our state-of-the-art facility, advanced treatments, and our caring staff will work quickly to help your child overcome bruxism.