Teeth Grinding Symptoms and Causes

Posted July 24, 2017 from United States

Teeth grinding is a very common dental problem, yet, is mostly found among kids. Teeth grinding also has another name, bruxism. You can decide what you want to call it. Bruxism often happens without a kid even being aware of it, like when they are sleeping. There is no fixed age at which it can occur, it can happen anytime throughout a child’s life.

Bruxism or teeth grinding is not a very serious problem as most children outgrow it. However, it can become a serious problem. About 35% of all children get bruxism in their childhood. Most of the time, a child does not only grind their teeth but also clench their jaw together. Some kids might only have a little bit of grinding in their sleep and some might have very bad grinding.

Whether it is only a little or a lot, it has to be looked at. Teeth grinding can cause dental issues in the future.

Symptoms of Bruxism

Symptoms of bruxism vary from child to child, but here are some common symptoms that are seen as the most obvious.

• Earache

• Sensitivity in the jaw.

• Headache

• Jaw muscle might be tight.

• Teeth will be very sensitive.

• Teeth might start breaking and wearing out.

Cause of Bruxism

Dentists are not completely sure what the main cause of bruxism is. As in each child, it might be for a different reason.

Here are some reasons that may cause a child to developed bruxism:

• Having too much stress in his or her life. Something may have happened in that child’s life. For example, a divorce, environment change or maybe there is something wrong at school (tension at school).

• Your child might be teeth grinding because he or she is scared, angry or have some negative emotions.

• There can be problems within your child’s mouth. For example, teeth being too crowded or teeth that are incorrectly aligned.

• Some reasons may include kids who have a sleep disorder or some allergies that cause the teeth grinding. Others may be dehydration or pain (physical pain).

What to do to help with Bruxism

If you are worried about you kid grinding his or her teeth at night, the first important step is to take your child to see a dentist. Your dentist will give you a different option that can help with teeth grinding.

Treatment may include any of these:

• Therapy will help with a child, plus, is also a very good thing for parents. Therapy might be needed if a child is going through a very big life change and it is affecting the child emotionally. A very good thing to also help is talking to your child and asking him or her about their feeling and what they think about the situation. A child that is having emotional difficulty needs a lot of love and support to help them get through the situation. To show them that things are not that bad and will get better.

• The dentist will have a look at your kid’s teeth to determine how bad the teeth grinding is. If the teeth grinding is very bad your dentist can recommend a mouth guard. Your child can wear it when they are going to sleep. A mouth guard can help with other things as well as helping protect the teeth from each other.

• If the bruxism has been left too long a treatment will be needed where the dentist needs to smooth the surface and fill them to be straight and equal again. With teeth grinding teeth can get damaged very badly. Especially if the teeth grinding has not been stopped at an early stage.

Generally, children have to see a different dentist than adults. Especially when a child has problems like teeth grinding. It is best to take your child to a dentist that specializes in kid’s teeth. Children usually develop bruxism between the ages of 6 and 9. Even though most kids out grow teeth grinding by the age 12, some don’t. Grinding teeth for even a week can cause dental problems, thus, it is best to get proper treatment.

Comments 4

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Jill Langhus
Jul 25, 2017
Jul 25, 2017

Hi Emma,

Thanks for sharing your story about the causes and solutions for teeth grinding. I can definitely relate as I need a mouth guard from clenching my jaw and teeth. It's definitely stress related for me.

Jul 25, 2017
Jul 25, 2017

Hi Emma.  Thank you for sharing.  I hope this will bring awareness to parents to help their kids.

Jul 26, 2017
Jul 26, 2017

Glad to be able to provide information to people, thanks for the encouragement :-)

leila Kigha
Jul 26, 2017
Jul 26, 2017

Wow bruxism! 

That's a new word I learnt today for teeth grinding. 

I didn't know it was this serious a Condition. Am glad am learning more about this

 Thank you for such deep information.