Bruxism: Kids and Teeth Grinding | Smile Workshop Fort Worth

[:en]When teaching your child about dental health, some topics don’t come up until someone starts experiencing symptoms, like bruxism for example. While you may be wondering what on Earth that even is, we at Smile Workshop Fort Worth are very familiar with the topic and happy to share all that we know:

What is bruxism?

Covered in one of our earlier blogs, Bruxism, or teeth grinding, is more common in children than you think. According to the Nemours foundation, two to three out of ten children have bruxism. Bruxism occurs when the jaw clenches and begins to slightly move in a back-and-forth motion and usually occurs at night, but not always. Most children outgrow this tendency, but some main causes can be stress related, pain related or medical related.

What are the side effects?

Usually the effects of bruxism go unnoticed, minus the obnoxious grinding sound family members may be subjected to, but there are some negative side effects to consider. Consistent grinding and jaw clenching can wear down tooth enamel, chip teeth, increase tooth sensitivity and cause severe facial pain and jaw problems. Children may also experience headaches and earaches. So while your child may outgrow bruxism, it’s good to take measures in preventing teeth grinding and jaw clenching.

Causes and how to prevent them

As we mentioned earlier, stress can be a major cause for bruxism. If your child is worried about upcoming events, there’s a change in their daily routine or something is going on at home, your child may resort to teeth grinding, like thumb sucking, as a means of comfort. It’s always good to talk with your child and find ways to help them reduce stress, like a warm bath before bed.

Pain may also be another cause. If your child is suffering from an earache or teething, teeth grinding may ease the pain. However, your child’s top and bottom teeth could be improperly aligned and that may be a cause to have looked at. Other causes to consider may be if your child is hyperactive, your child has cerebral palsy or certain medications.

No matter the reason, it’s always good to talk to a professional, like your local dentist, about bruxism. Does your child struggle with teeth grinding? Call or schedule an appointment with us today!

Image from Thinkstock by Getty Images. Item Number 518435192[:]