Teeth Grinding in Children
Bruxism, or involuntary teeth grinding, is common in children. The true cause of teeth grinding is unknown, but certain factors like stress, bite problems and tooth eruption influence this sleep disorder in children.
Although bruxism is not life-threatening, it can cause jaw aches, headaches, and tooth wear. The enamel of the teeth gets destroyed because of frequent grinding. The patient also ends up suffering from tooth sensitivity and sharp tooth edges. To protect your child from the effects of bruxism, it’s important to identify the symptoms of teeth grinding and seek medical help.
Symptoms of Teeth Grinding in Children
- Teeth ache in the morning
- Children complain about jaw stiffness or facial pain
- They suffer from tissue damage at the cheek area, inside the mouth
- The teeth become sensitive to hot and cold foods
- They suffer from chipped tooth enamel
- They have difficulty opening the mouth wide
- They make grinding sounds while sleeping
- They also tend to clench their teeth when they’re upset
What Should You Do?
If you feel your child is suffering from teeth grinding, schedule a check-up with a dental practitioner. The dentist will examine the child’s teeth and look for signs of enamel wear. The dentist will take x-rays and if required, suggest a sleep study to find out if your child is suffering from other sleep disorders like sleep apnoea.
The doctor may also take photographs of the teeth to identify changes that are taking place over a period of time.
Treating Teeth Grinding in Children
Although some children overcome teeth grinding without medical intervention, others need sleep therapy. Sometimes the dentist can create customised mouthguards for your child to wear at night. These mouthguards protect the enamel of the teeth from further damage caused by grinding.
Some patients complain that the grinding gets worse with mouthguards. But they protect the teeth from damage, so they are considered useful. Sleep clinicians work with children to help them cope with teeth grinding. They teach them relaxation exercises and ask parents to identify stressors in the child’s life. If you remove these stressors from your child’s life, the teeth grinding may come to a complete halt.
Stressors could be anything from going to a new school or town to having arguments with siblings.
Teeth Grinding and Malocclusions
Frequent teeth grinding can also cause malocclusions. These malocclusions lead to tooth and jaw bone problems like temporomandibular joint dysfunction. This particular disorder is most common in people in the age group of 20 to 40. It causes facial tenderness, jaw popping and swelling. To safeguard your children from this disorder, treat them for bruxism as early as possible.
Paediatric Dentist in North Melbourne
If you’re searching for professional child dentistry in Brunswick, Preston or the neighbouring suburbs, step into Coburg Dental. We have a team of experts who offer you the best practices in family dentistry.
Whether it’s sleep apnoea treatment, dental implants or teeth cleaning, we do it all under one roof. We offer the latest laser dentistry, making your visit as painless as possible. Give us a call on 03 9386 1805 to book a friendly consultation for your child or book an appointment online.