Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can lead to significant dental issues when the constant clenching and grinding erode tooth enamel and result in ongoing discomfort in the teeth and face. Surprisingly, bruxism is quite prevalent among children. Continue reading to gain insights into bruxism and discover effective measures to help your child.
Causes of Bruxism
Dr. Amrita Sandhu Gill, a kids friendly dentist in Airdrie, AB, notes that around 20-30% of children may experience bruxism, but most tend to outgrow it. The precise cause remains unclear, though misaligned teeth could be a contributing factor. Some children grind their teeth during sleep due to pain, while others may do so as a coping mechanism for anxiety or stress. Bruxism may also be linked to hyperactivity, cerebral palsy, or reactions to certain medications. Common symptoms encompass headaches, earaches, facial pain, and jaw issues. If left unaddressed, bruxism may result in tooth damage, such as chipping or breakage. It’s crucial to identify this condition in children, even if they still have their primary teeth.
Due to the strain of clenching the jaw and grinding at sleep, children who grind their teeth frequently have headaches or pain in or around the ear. Grinding can also cause wear and tear on the tooth enamel, which can cause discomfort when eating or increase sensitivity to heat and cold. A child’s doctor might need to add or modify prescriptions if their medicine or another medical issue is the cause of their grinding.
Children who suffer bruxism may have some long-term consequences. If a child continues to clench and grind their teeth for an extended amount of time, significant harm will be done to them. Not only will the enamel deteriorate, but the teeth may also break, chip, or flatten. When someone grinds their teeth for an extended period, they run the risk of developing temporomandibular joint disease (TMD). A youngster with TMD may experience excruciating jaw discomfort and find it difficult to chew or open their mouth fully.
How to Find Out If Your Child Has Bruxism
Detecting bruxism in your child can be challenging as they may be unaware of teeth grinding. Monitor them at night for grinding noises during sleep or ask a sibling to share their room. If your child seems excessively worried or angry, especially if these emotions align with nocturnal teeth grinding, it warrants attention. Children, like adults, can experience anxiety, which might necessitate medical or stress-relief interventions, such as a warm bath or soothing music before bedtime.
Bruxism can occur both when awake and during sleep, leading to reported pain in your child’s ears, cheeks, jaw, or neck. It is crucial to take these reports seriously and promptly schedule a dental appointment. A kids friendly dentist can evaluate if the facial pain is associated with bruxism and offer appropriate recommendations or a treatment plan.
How to Stop a Child From Grinding Their Teeth at Night
Arrange for a dental examination if you think your child has bruxism so that they can receive a correct diagnosis and treatment. To avoid grinding and lingering pain at night, your dentist might even create a personalized mouthguard for you to wear. Battery-operated toothbrushes can protect their teeth even more by deterring too forceful brushing.
Supporting your child in developing healthy coping mechanisms for anxiety might help cure childhood bruxism brought on by stress. The good news is that most children stop grinding their teeth eventually. Nevertheless, scheduling a dentist appointment beforehand won’t harm you and will help you determine the best course of action.
If you need any assistance with your kids’ dental health, visit your nearest dental clinic in Airdrie, AB. You should also remember that your kids friendly dentist in Airdrie, AB, is always there to assist you in case of any dental emergency. So, remember to book an appointment.