Children And Bruxism Issues
If you have a child, then you should be well aware of the different oral health issues that can form during their development. And, one of these issues involves tooth grinding. While this is something that you are more likely to hear about in relation to adults than children, it is surprisingly common with younger kids. Keep reading to learn more about this problem.
Why Do Children Grind Their Teeth?
You probably understand that there are some pretty common reasons why adults grind their teeth and these may include stress, anxiety, and the clenching of the facial muscles. However, these are not the same reasons why a child is likely to grind their teeth. Children will often clench the teeth in response to a negative stimulus. This includes the pain they experience when they teethe, develop an earache, or have an illness like a cold or flu.
Children can also grind when they sleep and they are likely to do so when both asleep and awake if the upper and lower jaw are not aligned properly. Some stressful situations can lead to bruxism, while it is not as common in children as it is in adults. Kids who hear their parents arguing or who are concerned about a test at school may grind their teeth.
How Is Grinding Treating?
The cause of bruxism is usually determined and treated to resolve the problem. For example, if chronic earaches are causing discomfort, then tubes may be placed in the ears to reduce the pressure on the eardrum and also the ear canal. For teething issues, an anesthetic rub may be offered or teething rings may be suggested.
When it comes to anxiety and stress, the bruxism is considered a coping mechanism. Other mechanisms, like the use of a stress ball or the participation in a sport, may be utilized to help minimize the issue. Cognitive or talk therapy can also help your child learn healthy coping mechanisms.
Sometimes children will grow out of the grinding problem and temporary grinding guards may be used in the meantime. Braces can also help to realign the jaw properly so a wait and see approach may be taken when tooth alignment is started.
Keep in mind that bruxism can cause enamel damage if your child is grinding against the permanent teeth. So, you do want to address the issue with a professional if you notice the problem.
For more information, contact a pediatric dentist in your area.