Bruxism or teeth grinding is a condition in which you grind or clench your teeth. Bruxism in children is common in children with upwards of one in five children under the age of eleven reporting to have sleep bruxism.
Bruxism in children can be a serious problem for both their dental and sleep health. The grinding motion of the teeth can erode the enamel of their teeth and lead into other more serious dental and present a link to overall and behavioral health issues.
Though the numbers of children who exhibit signs of bruxism, most children will eventually grow out of it.
What causes bruxism in children and what are its symptoms?
The root cause for teeth grinding in children isn’t always 100% clear, but many dentists believe that misaligned teeth, anxiety and other potential sleep or oral health issues can attribute to the condition. Other causes for bruxism, teeth grinding or clenching can also be linked to hyperactivity, stress, and reactions to common medications.
Children that grind and clench their teeth may experience headaches, earaches, facial pain and jaw problems as well as abnormal wear to their tooth enamel, chipped or cracked teeth, and other dental pain or discomfort. If your child is complaining about or experiencing symptoms of bruxism, it’s important to discuss this with their dentist and doctor even if it’s while they still have their primary teeth (baby teeth).
How do I know if my child has bruxism?
It can be difficult to determine if your child has bruxism because oftentimes your child doesn’t even realize they’re grinding their teeth. One way you can check to see if your child is grinding their teeth while they sleep is to check-in on them at night when they’re sleeping to hear if they’re making grinding noises. Sometimes you’ll be able to audibly hear them grinding away at their teeth, or if their siblings sleep in the same room as them, they may also be hearing them grind and clench their teeth at night.
One other sign that your child is grinding their teeth at night maybe that they’re complaining of jaw pain, soreness or pain while chewing, or frequent headaches.
Another link to bruxism that is common in children is when they’re showing signs of anger or worry about things while showing other signs of grinding teeth. Sometimes a child’s emotions or behaviors will go hand-in-hand with other signs of bruxism and we can help get to the root of the cause as well as offering dental or sleep solutions through our network of dentists to provide relief.
Schedule an appointment today with our team by calling 717.243.9020 or by filling out an online appointment request to talk to us about your child’s teeth grinding.