Teeth Grinding in Children

Teeth Grinding in Children

Teeth grinding in children are growing to be one of the most annoying problems of parents. It is really irritating to hear your child grinding their teeth while you attempt to sleep peacefully in the evening. The least they can do is to cover their ears with the pillow and hope that it is part of the biological cycle their child is experiencing. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Teeth grinding or bruxism is an annoyance and must be properly addressed for it to stop.

Teeth Grinding Causes

Dentists believe that teeth grinding is caused by stress, but in case of little children they associate it with one of the following factors:

Emotional Factors

As mentioned above, your child may be experienced suppressed anger and frustration and may unconsciously vent out this emotions in their sleep manifested by teeth grinding in the evening.

Complications causes by other disease

Bruxism is not a major problem but it may be a hint that your child may be suffering from other diseases like Huntington or Parkinson’s disease. Although this is more associated with elders, it helps to bring your child’s condition to a physician so his condition will be properly evaluated.

Abnormal development of the jaws and teeth

This is one of the most feasible reasons why children experience bruxism. Their jaws and teeth are not yet fully developed and some are still in its growing stage. Your child may feel itchiness in the gum area and naturally responds to it through grinding.

Abnormal alignment of the teeth

Your child may have baby teeth but due to its weakness and abnormal alignment in the lower and upper teeth, it may also result to teeth grinding. This is an involuntary reaction of the mouth area as they try their best to make contact with one another.

Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

People suffering from teeth grinding will not be conscious of this problem, but those who live with them should be responsible enough to inform them about this issue. Take note of the following signs to identify if your child is suffering from one and should be brought to the attention of the dentist.

Intense clenching of the teeth

This is the primary symptom of children who suffer from teeth grinding in the evening. The child may be sleeping soundly but the teeth clenching is too extreme it wakes up other members of the family. At times, it can even be more annoying than snoring.

Worn down, flattened and chipped teeth

This is one of the worst things that your child may suffer if you will not attend to his problem of teeth grinding. He may end up with chipped teeth which can only be resolved through cosmetic dentistry.

Worn teeth enamels

The unconscious habit of teeth grinding will force your teeth to have worn teeth enamels. This is one of the things that you wish to avoid because once the teeth enamels get damaged then it will be more prone to tooth decay.

Teeth sensitivity

Due to the damage to the teeth enamel, most of the kids who suffer from bruxism will find tingling pain when they drink or eat very hot or cold foods.

Jaw pain and tightness

More of the pain experienced by the child is concentrated on the jaw and mouth area. Your child will certainly complain of these discomforts because of the pressure their jaw area experiences in the evening.

Several instances of earaches, headaches and facial pains

Teeth grinding also affect the muscular structures near the molars. This results to facial pains and recurring headaches which can only be relieved with aspirin treatment.

Damaged tissues of the cheek

Due to teeth grinding, the cheek will be prone to possible injury. So if your child complains of cheek wounds, this may be a sign of bruxism.

Teeth Grinding in ChildrenPicture : Teeth Grinding in Child

Diagnosis for Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding diagnosis rests in the hands of the dentist-in-charge. He will have a full examination of the mouth area together with the ear section for a possible temporomandibular joint disorder. This is necessary so the dentist can recommend the best form of treatment.

Treatment for Teeth Grinding

The treatments that will be used for teeth grinding vary. It depends on the possible cause of this abnormality. Here are some of the most effective methods that are highly recommended by dentists:

Stress Management

Since one of the possible reasons for bruxism in kids is stress, dentists will recommend an hour or two of session with a psychologist to help the child deal with daily stress.

Use of Dental Devices and Aids

Those who suffer from bruxism because of misalignment in the teeth and jaw and bone development issues are recommended to wear mouth guards, splints and similar dental devices before sleeping. Some of these mouth guards can be purchased over-the-counter, but it is always better to purchase these devices from a professional dentist to guarantee its result. It may be a bit expensive; but it will give you more assurance that your child’s bruxism will be lessened, if not completely cured.

Behavior Therapy

This is perfect for kids who find it difficult to control their anger or for those who don’t know how to release their frustrations. There are now lots of centers who specialize in behavior therapy for teeth grinding, so it will not be too difficult for parents to find one. Dentists may even provide you with the possible centers where you can go to.

Regular Medications

Muscle relaxants may also be provided by some doctors and dentists to help minimize bruxism. These drugs should be taken a few minutes before the bedtime. However there may be several side effects brought about by these drugs, so it remains one of the least options offered by these medical professionals.

Dental Surgery

This is rarely recommended for children suffering from bruxism, but for adults who are suffering from teeth grinding then this becomes the best options. Some of the dental procedures associated with it include use of crowns and overlays.

Home Remedies for Teeth Grinding

Teeth grinding is expected to be outgrown by children as their permanent teeth erupts and their jaw fully develops. Due to this, some parents would prefer the use of home remedies like the following listed below:

Sleeping on your back

The best way to avoid suffering from teeth grinding in the evening is to sleep on your back. This is one of the most proven methods of fixing this dental problem. You just have to figure out how you will not end up sleeping on your sides in the middle of the night.

Use of warm wash cloth

Although a bit inconvenient, some children are used to placing warm washcloth around their face which will help prevent their jaws from clenching.

Use of warm massage and warm bath

Some parents would command their child to have a warm bath before sleeping. Some would even do the extra effort of massaging their child before sleeping to guarantee that they will have a relaxing sleep which is free from stress.

Use of magnesium and calcium supplements

The intake of additional food supplements like calcium and magnesium are also used by many as preventive measure to help lessen and stop teeth grinding.

Drinking of warm milk or herbal tea before sleeping

Warm milk or herbal tea before sleeping is one of the guaranteed ways used during the ancient times for a relaxing sleep. Many are still doing this to secure that their child’s teeth will not be making unnecessary sounds in the evening.

Performing deep breathing Techniques

This is a simple method with beneficial results. You can practice this technique before sleeping, so you will have a restful sleep.

Munching of apples and vegetables

You may chew all you want before sleeping in hope that your jaw will be so tired to involuntary work while you sleep. The foods you can enjoy munching includes apples, carrots and cauliflowers.



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