Teeth grinding is more common in children than you might think, and it could even be considered normal until the age of six. This habit usually goes away on its own as the child ends the teething period, and their teeth get into a correct alignment.
But, why does it happen and what can you do if your child is six or older and still grinding their teeth?
What Is Bruxism?
Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, is an involuntary clench and grind of the jaw and teeth. Bruxism can either happen at night as well as during the day (awake and sleep bruxism).
A person may clench and grind their teeth during the day without even realizing it. But there are a few clear signs that can indicate bruxism:
- Broken teeth
- Cracked teeth
- Sensitive teeth
- Jaw pain
- Ear pain
- Grinding sounds
- Tense face and jaw muscles
- Locking jaw
- Worn off enamel
- Popping or clicking sound in the temporomandibular joint
- Damage inside of the cheek
If you notice some of these symptoms in your child, check with their pediatric dentist in Villa Park as this can be an indication of bruxism.
The symptoms need to be treated to avoid further damage to your child’s teeth and overall health.
Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?
Several reasons can make children grind their teeth, such as:
When a child is stressed, they tend to grind and clench their teeth. Even though further research is needed, this is an aspect to look at if you notice your child has bruxism.
Anxiety can also be a culprit of bruxism. It may be hard to imagine why children would get anxious, but numerous things can make them worry. If someone is bothering them at school, for example, or if they are worried about an upcoming exam, they might experience anxiety and grind their teeth.
- Sleep Problems
If your child snores, doesn’t breathe properly during sleep, or has disruptive sleep patterns, it can also lead to teeth grinding and clenching.
- Mental Health Problems
Just like stress and anxiety, some mental health conditions can also trigger bruxism. ADHD, for example, can be a source of teeth grinding and clenching.
- Dental Problems
Teeth grinding can also be a result of misaligned teeth. Check with your dentist to determine if your child may need braces.
Treatments for Bruxism
If you notice your child is grinding their teeth, then it's important to talk to a professional and find the source of the condition.
After determining the cause and finding the best treatment, the pediatric dentist will also give your child a night guard to prevent further damage to the teeth.
If your child is under pressure and stressed, look for ways to help them relax and feel safe, so they can slowly stop grinding and clenching.
Is Your Child Grinding Their Teeth? We Can Help!
If you are worried about your child's oral health because of their teeth grinding habits, we here at Villa Park Pediatric Dentistry can help.
We offer treatment for children in a fun and relaxed environment. We also use sophisticated technology to offer the best treatment they could get.
Get in touch with us and schedule an appointment with Dr. Leslie Butler.