Bruxism is a condition where a child grinds their teeth while they are asleep at night. It is often the cause of great concern of parents, who worry that the child teeth will be permanently damaged as a result. Many times, parents will notice this condition before they take their child to the dentist because of the noise that is that is being made by the child while they sleep. The parent may also noticed over time that the teeth are getting shorter towards the dentition as they are worn away. There are many theories as to why bruxism is found in children, and one theory does involve the psychological component of stress. Children are very smart, and it has been found that the stresses of the surrounding environments may have impacts on the children in this way. Stress as a result of new environments or homes, divorces or changes at school as well as other things can negatively affect your child’s psychological makeup, as well as causing them to grind their teeth. Other theories will consider the pressure of the inner ear at night time. Many times children will grind their teeth in an attempt to equalize the pressure is building up and causing them discomfort in their ears. This is the same thing as adults who are notice in that their eardrums are becoming uncomfortable while flying an airplane or driving over a mountain. We have the ability to chew gum or yawn to try and resolve the issue, but children will usually result in moving their jaws which can cause teeth grinding.
Most times, cases of pediatric bruxism do not require major treatments. If the teeth are being worn excessively, your pediatric dentist may decide that and mouth guard is necessary. There are drawbacks to mouth guards as joking is a possibility if it was to become dislodged in the middle of the night, and they can possibly interfere with the proper development of the jaws. While the positives of preventing obvious tooth wear due to grinding many outweigh the negatives, it is best to leave this type of decision to your pediatric dentist.
The best news for most parents is that children will generally outgrow bruxism. Usually between the ages of about six and nine years old the teeth grinding will decrease or completely stop. If it has not stopped by this point, take heart in the fact that most cases will stop between the ages of nine and twelve. If it is a continued an ongoing problem at this point in their development, it is easier to work with a possible solutions than at earlier stages in the child’s life. For this reason it is important to not panic if you notice that your child is grinding their teeth, and instead to contact your child’s dentist as soon as possible.
For information about the best Las Vegas children’s dentist, contact Dr. Gary Richardson at Adventure Smiles.