Teeth grinding also known as bruxism is so common this days, most parents think that this is a normal thing for children. So many children does this mostly at their early stage of life, some out grow it eventually. Bruxism should be taken seriously whether in children or in adults, you don’t need to ignore because it might be a sign of something serious. There are lots of potential causes of teeth grinding, it can happen for different reasons. According to studies, stress is the most common cause of teeth grinding in children and adults alike.
On this article am going to reveal why children grind their teeth and also effects of teeth grinding on children. As a parent, it’s important that you make sure that your child sleeps well. Sleeping problems can cause unnecessary stress to your child, even to you and other members of your family.
Teeth Grinding In Children
Normally as a parent, when your child is sleeping, you are supposed to hear the sound of calm breathing. But if you hear cracking or grinding sounds resulting from teeth rubbing together. This cracking sounds is a sign of bruxism, it shows that your child is grinding her teeth. This grinding is commonly noticed at night when your child is sleeping, it can also happen at day time.
According to experts 2 to 3 out of every 10 will grind, this usually happen when they sleep at night or in daytime when they are under stress. The rate of teeth grinding in children is very high, up to 17% of children has it. It can begin in toddlers immediately the teeth have started to come out from the gums, but only about 3% will still have it till adulthood. (1) The actual cause of bruxism in children is quite unclear to dentists. Lots of children that grind their teeth don’t even know that they do grind.
It’s necessary that you stay close to your kids, and help them identify this type of problems on time. For proper treatment of bruxism, it’s essential that you know the things that are really causing the problem. So here are the possible things that can make your child grind.
Causes Of Teeth Grinding In Children
- Response To Pain : Teething is painful, when the teeth are coming out from the gums that very first time. Kids can grind as a way to help relieve the pain, they might be trying to rub a sore muscle. For older children, bruxism can be a sign of stress or anxiety. This can lead to permanent damage to your child’s teeth if left uncorrected. Apart from teething, earache can also make your little child to grind her teeth. She might grind in order to ease her pain and discomfort.
- Stress or Anxiety : Strong nervous tension, usually cause teeth grinding in older children. Anger can also cause this, certain things like arguing with parents or siblings can lead to clenching and grinding. A child might clench when he worry about a test at school, a change in routine or about an illness. There are so many things that can stress a child, it can actually help if you can help cut those things down. You should try setting a bedtime routine and ensure that your child sleeps well each night.
- Teeth Aren’t Aligned Properly : When the top and bottom teeth of a child aren’t aligned properly, this can make her to grind. It’s important that you take your child to a dentist for proper diagnosis. Grinding is a bad habit that you wouldn’t want your child to have.
- Medical Condition: There are certain health condition that can make a child to grind. For an example, children that have cerebral palsy are all likely to grind. Some medications can also make a child to grind, so don’t just give anything to kids.
Effects Of Teeth Grinding In Children
Most cases of teeth grinding in toddlers are harmless, they tend to outgrow this overtime. Toddler grinding are considered to be harmless, but if you are worried about it, you can take her to the dentist. In some cases bruxism may not be that harmless, it can result to other problems and discomfort. A child that has sleep – related bruxism might not know she’s doing that. (2) The sound can get parents and other family members worried. This are certain effects of severe teeth grinding:
It can cause headaches and even eraches. Your child might always complain of headaches after waking up in the morning.
It causes severe jaw or facial pain, your little child might not be able to talk in order to complain to you about her problem. But if you notice frequently rubbing of her jaw out of pain, it might be a sign of teeth grinding.
For older children, If the grinding happens a lot, it wears away the teeth enamel. Leading to damages on the teeth, getting a teeth guard is really a good option here.
How Is Teeth Grinding Treated?
Just like I said earlier, toddlers outgrow teeth grinding. Close parental observations and visits to the dentist can help until it goes away. Children sleep disorder can be linked to teeth grinding, it’s important that you interact with your child before bedtime and also discourage late-night sleeping. Don’t let TV or video games take your place, relaxing before bedtime such as taking warm bath or reading a book can help stop bruxism.
Allow your child to tell you what’s really stressing her, find possible solutions to help her feel calm and comforted. Stress relievers might not be enough to stop bruxism in children, a medical evaluation might be needed to identify the underlying cause.