Bruxism & Teeth Grinding Treatment

Bruxism is a common pediatric dental problem. Approximately 35 percent of all kids will experience teeth grinding at some point during childhood, and kids are usually not aware that they clench and grind their teeth while sleeping. If left untreated, bruxism can worsen and cause pain and tooth damage, so it is important to have your child examined by one of our Taylor or West Bloomfield, MI pediatric dentists.

What Are the Signs of Overnight Teeth Grinding?

Although symptoms of pediatric bruxism may vary, there are a few common signs that include:

  • Jaw tenderness
  • Tight jaw muscles
  • Earache
  • Frequent headaches
  • Visibly worn-down teeth
  • Increased tooth sensitivity

Why Do Children Clench & Grind their Teeth at Night?

There is not one clear answer to this question. Possible causes may include:

  • Over-crowded teeth or misalignments that cause an uneven bite.
  • Internal conditions such as systemic earache pain or other discomfort, dehydration, sleep disorders, parasites, allergies, nutritional deficiencies and endocrine disorders.
  • Stress or anxiety triggered by life changes such as school problems, divorce, death, or a move. Some kids experience bruxism when they feel angry, fearful or any other unpleasant emotion.

Teeth Grinding Treatment

Children usually need nothing more than reassurance. Unlike adults with bruxism, kids who struggle with teeth grinding are rarely fitted for night guards. Except in serious cases, where the child is at risk of teeth damage or infection, teeth grinding treatment with a night guard is not necessary. Since children are continuously growing, their changing oral cavity would make fitting a night guard difficult.

Sometimes a dentist will recommend a treatment plan, which may include the smoothing of teeth due to wear, fillings for teeth, which are exceptionally worn, and continued regular evaluations.

Most children who suffer from nocturnal bruxism outgrow the condition on their own without the need for special treatment. Usually, childhood teeth grinding decreases between the ages 6-9 and completely stops by the age of 12.

If you believe your child may be grinding his or her teeth, book an appointment with one of our Taylor or West Bloomfield pediatric dentists to discuss treatment options.

Dr. Jason Golnick

Dr. Jason Golnick

DDS (Doctor of Dental Surgery)

Dr. Jason M. Golnick received his DDS degree and his MS degree in Pediatric Dentistry from the University of Michigan. He is a C.S. Mott Fellow in Pediatric Dentistry and has served as a adjunct clinical professor in the Department of Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontics at the University of Michigan, School of Dentistry. Dr. Jason Golnick is an active staff member of Oakwood Hospital and the Detroit Medical Center / Childrens Hospital of Michigan,


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