Help! My Child Is Grinding Their Teeth

Help! My Child Is Grinding Their Teeth

Sometimes being a new parent can be scary, and things that you do not understand as far as the way that your child is acting can be quite frightening and distressing.  Bruxism, which is the medical term to describe teeth grinding at night is a common problem that can strike fear into parents who have never experienced it before.  Many adults ground their teeth at night, and are unaware of the problem until dental problems surface at the dentist.  For parents, many times the condition of bruxism is first noticed when they hear the grinding sounds coming from their child’s mouth while they sleep.  Naturally, this can be very distressing as we all know that grinding your teeth causes them to wear down.  Parents may also notice their child’s teeth getting shorter, creating a look that is also distressing.  The best thing to do is to contact your pediatric dentist immediately if you believe in your child is grinding their teeth at night.

There are several causes that could be contributing to your child’s bruxism.  One potential cause has to do with the psychology of the child, and the way that different stresses and pressures effect them.  Children are heavily impacted by change and feel stress as a result.  Everything from moving or changes to the household environment as well as divorces or problems at school can all weigh heavily on your child’s psychological state.  All of these types of pressures may cause your child to grind their teeth.  Another possible cause release to the pressure of the inner ear during the night.  The same way that we will notice pressure building up in our ears if we take an airplane flight or drive over the mountains, children will sometimes experience pressure in their years which causes discomfort during the night.  We will generally utilized different methods that we were taught over the years like chewing gum or yawning in order to stretch the jaw and relieve the pressure.  Children will generally attempts to move their jaw to accomplish the same goal, which will often times cause grinding up the teeth.  If this is the case, your dentist will assess the situation in order to determine if treatment is necessary.  Luckily, most cases of pediatric bruxism do not require much for treatment, severe cases potentially require in the mouth guard at night.  The negative aspects of the mouth guard in young children is that it could potentially pose a choking hazard if it was to come loose while the child is asleep.  The determination of whether in mouth guard is appropriate or not should be made by your dentist.

The good news is that most cases of childhood bruxism go away between the ages of six and 12 years old.  The grinding will usually decrease between six and nine and stop between nine and twelve, and if it has not at that point it is much easier to work with the potential treatments than in young children.

For information about the best Las Vegas children’s dentist, contact Dr. Gary Richardson at Adventure Smiles.