Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is a common occurrence in children. While bruxism can occur at any time, most children grind their teeth while asleep, usually during deep sleep phases. Your child may grind their teeth for a number of reasons, including stress, misaligned teeth, as a pain response, hyperactivity, or as a response to medication or a medical condition.
In many cases, bruxism will go undetected and with no ill effects. However, in some cases, a child’s bruxism may result in headaches, earaches, increased sensitivity to temperature, facial and jaw pain, or chipped and worn teeth. Most children will outgrow their bruxism, but until they do, you and our pediatric dentist will need to monitor them to ensure that their teeth and smile remain healthy. You can do this by bringing your child to our office every six months for their regular appointment and by watching out for the following signs at home:
Our pediatric dentist can perform an exam to determine the cause of the bruxism and recommend treatments and strategies to help resolve the problem and keep your child’s bruxism from causing any further damage.
The most common treatment our pediatric dentist may recommend is a night guard, a custom oral appliance that is worn at night to prevent the teeth from touching and becoming damaged by the actions of teeth grinding and clenching. Other strategies involve helping your child relax before bedtime and resolving issues that are causing stress or upset.
For more information about bruxism in children and to make an appointment with our pediatric dentist, contact our office today.