Bruxism, commonly known as teeth grinding, is a serious condition where the patient clenches the teeth vigorously and moves the jaw. This causes the strong enamel of the teeth to erode, resulting in what is commonly known as tooth erosion. Despite all this, bruxism in children is rather common. In this article, you will learn why children grind their teeth and what options you have to stop it.

The causes of bruxism

Around 30 percent of all children suffer from bruxism at one point in their life. For children, this is a condition that goes by itself with age. It is not clear why children suffer from bruxism, but dentists believe it is caused by misaligned teeth and the undeveloped nervous system.

Kids may grind their teeth when they are under a lot of stress or when they feel pain. Teeth grinding and clenching may also be a sign of cerebral palsy, hyperactivity or it could be the reaction to medication. Bruxism is a condition that can cause headaches, facial pain, jaw problems, and earaches. It is a dangerous condition because your child could crack a tooth and wear down the tooth’s enamel. If you hear your child grinding their teeth, take them to the dentist to determine what causes it.

How to find out if your child has it?

It could prove difficult to determine if your child has bruxism because they are not aware they are grinding. You can go to their room at night and listen if they are making any grinding noises while asleep. If your child has a sibling who shares a room with them, you can ask the sibling to be on a lookout for grinding sounds. If your child complains that they are having a sore jaw or feel pain when chewing, you should take them to the dentist, as they could be grinding their teeth during the night.

Children can clench and grind their teeth when they feel angry or worried about something. Strong emotions can set off the bruxism. Kids have a lot of anxiety episodes. If you want to stop your child’s grinding, you should address the problem directly by having a talk. You also have the option of using medical treatments and stress-relieving intervention (such as a warm bath and soothing music) before bedtime, to stop the bruxism.

What to do next?

If your child has bruxism, you should take them to a dentist for a proper checkup. Your dentist can give a proper diagnosis and offer you treatment options. There are a lot of children who wear custom mouth guards to prevent the grinding and soreness.

Teeth grinding in children could be the result of stress. You can help them relax by taking them to play more and visit new places. The good news is that even if you don’t do anything, the condition will go away on its own when the time comes.

For more information about bruxism in children ask your dentist.