Children often involuntarily grind their teeth, usually while sleeping, leaving the parents worrying about how to deal with it. It’s not limited to children though; a large population of adults grinds their teeth too. The medical term for teeth grinding is “bruxism”. It usually happens in deep sleep or while under stress- and 3 out of 10 children go through it. Although experts say most children outgrow it, what must you do to minimize it in your child? If left untreated, the practice can have adverse effects on teeth.
While the exact causes of bruxism aren’t clear, the reasons vary from kid to kid. A child may grind their teeth because of unaligned top and bottom teeth. It might be in response to tooth ache or teething, in order to alleviate the pain. Hyperactive children also develop bruxism at times, and sometimes it is developed because of a medical condition such as cerebral palsy or as a result of certain medications.
Does It Cause Harm?
Often, children don’t realize they’re grinding their teeth and parents should keep an eye out for the condition. Usually children grind their teeth during deep sleep and some cases may even be left undetected with no visible harm.
However, bruxism can have adverse effects in children if it’s not prevented, issues such as chipped teeth, wearing down of tooth enamel, facial pain and jaw problems and increase in temperature sensitivity.
What Must You Do?
Parental supervision along with dental visits can help keep bruxism under check and prevent it from developing into a damaging condition for the child. Most children grow out of it in adolescence, but if the cause is stress, it may continue and the child may develop a habit of grinding teeth under every stressful situation. Bruxism during deep sleep can be avoided with the use of a night guard. In case of stress being the issue, parents are advised to talk to the child and help them cope with troublesome situations.
Are you worried about your child’s teeth grinding? Visit us at our kids’ friendly Young Kidz dental clinic today! For more information, call us at (503) 658-3384.