Everything You Should Know about Bruxism & Teeth Grinding Treatment

Everything You Should Know about Bruxism & Teeth Grinding Treatment

May 01, 2020

Of the many dental problems that exist, rarely do we talk about teeth grinding. As is, very few people are aware that it is even an oral problem that requires to be addressed. Most people are familiar with other dental infections and problems that are common in dentistry. Even then, you would be surprised to learn just how many people suffer from teeth grinding conditions.

What is Teeth Grinding?

It is an oral problem where the patients grind the teeth against each other. It happens when the lower and upper jaws meet together, and force is exerted with frequent movements. This is a common problem that happens among children. Teeth grinding in children, in some cases, is just a learned habit. However, adults to experience teeth grinding, particularly at night. There is nothing to be ashamed of when seeking bruxism treatment as an adult since treatment is available for both adults and kids.

For adults, some of the reasons that could lead to teeth grinding include:

  • Stress and anxiety
  • Constricting your facial muscles excessively
  • Acquired habit

Why Do Children Need Bruxism Treatment?

Children are the most common victims of teeth grinding. While some may not be aware of the habit, some children enjoy gnashing their teeth against each other. For them, the consequences do not matter, as long as they are having fun with it. Such a case is easily treated with habit counseling. This is where a pediatric dentist trains your child on better oral habits, trading them for bad ones like teeth grinding. Most children experience teeth grinding in their early childhood. Fortunately, most also outgrow the issue as they age.

However, some children experience bruxism that is out of their control. When it happens at night, even the kids may not be aware of it. The explanation for night teeth grinding could be physical, emotional or psychological. Sometimes a bad dream is all it takes to get a child grinding their teeth at night. Those sounds of gnashing and grinding teeth at night are not the joy of any parent. Considering a sleep medicine specialist for children is the best way to go when you notice this about your child.

Causes of Bruxism in Children

Different reasons could explain behaviors in children. However, when it comes to bruxism for children, few reasons can cause it, including the following:

  • Stress – we often tend to think that stress is only a thing for adults. Quite the contrary, children too can undergo stress. Some activity in school or a situation at home can exert a lot of stress and tension on your child. When this happens, teeth grinding can happen at night, as a result of anxiety.
  • Bad dreams – if it is a once-in-a-long-time kind of thing, there is nothing to worry you. However, recurrent bad dreams could be a sign of trauma or a psychological problem. This can lead to teeth grinding, among many other health issues.
  • Medical condition – some health problems, like cerebral palsy, can cause teeth grinding at night.

overall, figuring out the underlying cause of your child’s problem should not be entirely up to you. Be open about seeking medical assistance where there is a need for it.

Signs and Symptoms of Teeth Grinding

There is no easy way to diagnose any dental problem, other than considering the signs and symptoms. With teeth grinding, it could be easier because the signs are pretty much evident. They include:

  • Sounds of gnashing teeth – as teeth grinding against each other, there will be weird sounds and noises, if you are keen to listen.
  • Hypersensitive teeth – does your child complain of hypersensitivity? This is mostly experienced with temperature changes. It indicates damage to the tooth’s structure, which then triggers a response from the nerve endings of teeth.
  • Unusually short teeth – enamel thinning will occur eventually as bruxism progresses. While teeth are storing and built to last a lifetime, they are not invincible. They wear down with excessive teeth grinding. This is one of the reasons why pediatric night guards are prescribed by dentists for children. It is especially helpful for children who already have their adult teeth grown.

If you are still unsure over whether or not your child suffers from bruxism, talk to a pediatric dentist. The dental exams performed at the beginning of every dental consultation help determine the accurate diagnosis of oral problems.

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