Teeth Grinding in Kids: What You Should Know

A sleeping young girl

A sleeping child is probably the most peaceful thing you could ever see on earth. But if you hear sounds of grinding teeth, that peaceful feeling gets instantly broken.

Why Grinding Happens

Bruxism, the medical term for teeth grinding, doesn’t always have an exact cause. Many factors can contribute to it. In most cases, children do it because of misaligned teeth. For some, it’s a coping mechanism for pain, when they’re teething or experiencing earaches. In that case, grinding teeth is like massaging a painful muscle.

Some people also believe that it happens due to stress. If your family has just moved to a new state, say in Utah, far from their friends, the stress can prompt them to grind their teeth. Still, some experts think that there’s a link between bruxism and medical conditions, such as hyperactivity disorder and cerebral palsy.

Because teeth grinding is associated with many factors, Children’s Crossing Pediatric Dentistry notes that the best way to address it is to take your child to a kids’ dentist. Eagle Mountain dental professionals would check for teeth misalignment and ask patients some questions that would determine if they’re stressed.

How Teeth Grinding Affects Oral Health

It’s important to have your little ones checked as soon as you notice the problem. Vigorous grinding can cause discomfort in the ears and jaws. It may also result in ​wearing down of the enamel, the protective layer in the teeth. You may notice that kids will complain about facial pain or tooth sensitivity to hot and cold food. This could be due to excessive teeth grinding.

Dentists usually recommend using a special mouth guard to avoid bruxism. This is relatively the same protective gear used by athletes, but your child’s oral appliance will be a custom fit one. Dentists will take impressions of your child’s teeth using a special material and use that to mold the mouth guard.

Teeth grinding may have different causes and consequences. Take your kids to the dentist, so they can get the right treatment as early as possible.