Everything Parents Need to Know About Teeth Grinding

Posted on: 29 November 2016

Dentists will often warn about teeth grinding. Many children do it and usually in their sleep. Many parents don't know why it happens or what problems it leads to. Here's all you need to know as a parent about teeth grinding in children.

It Can Damage the Teeth

Grinding the teeth causes friction on the teeth. The enamel is worn away, although it's not usually spotted by the naked eye. It happens slowly and can lead to tooth decay. The teeth also become weaker. Chipped teeth and sensitivity are also problems as roots can become exposed.

It Is a Normal Part of Childhood

Teeth grinding is a normal part of childhood. According to Kid's Health, between 20 and 30 per cent of children will suffer from it. Those with anxiety or disabilities tend to suffer from it the most, but healthcare professionals don't understand exactly why it happens. There are theories that it is due to the soothing sound of the grinding.

There Are Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

Children who grind their teeth, whether consciously or subconsciously, will usually have symptoms of the condition. These include earaches and headaches. The pains won't always bother children, so the condition can be missed. The pain comes from the constant friction causing sound that is multiplied within the body. Tenderness in the jaw and muscles in the mouth is also common. Those with braces in may mistake the tenderness for regular discomfort.

Most of the time, dentists will spot the problem during routine checkups. Don't put off your 6-month appointments.

Teeth Grinding Can Be Prevented

There are treatments to help limit the damage of bruxism. Mouth guards are the most popular, and there are options for those with braces. Dentists will often recommend custom-made mouth guards for full protection and comfort around the braces. Your child may already have a night guard due to the braces, which should help to limit the damage.

While this helps to prevent damage, it's important to stop teeth grinding in its tracks. It's important for parents to find the reason for the grinding occurring, whether it is due to stress or a disability. Finding the reason will mean the ability to get treatment for that reason. Try to halt bruxism before the adult teeth come through to avoid damage to them.

Damage due to teeth grinding needs to be fixed as soon as possible. This will help to protect the baby teeth for the long term and will help to support the protruding adult teeth. With the above facts, you can make sure your child's mouth is healthy and ask about any signs of teeth grinding the next time you visit your dentist.