As a parent, you may look into your child’s bedroom to check on them while sleeping only to come across an odd noise. This strange sound is the result of your child grinding their teeth together in their sleep. Bruxism will occur in about 30% of children and can be caused by numerous reasons, such as stress, misaligned bites, or other more serious medical conditions.
Short-term effects of teeth grinding can be a good indicator of whether or not the child is dealing with Bruxism. Your child may wake up with a headache or pain around the ear due to the pressure placed on the jaw overnight. Grinding can also cause wear and tear on the tooth enamel, resulting in painful chewing or increased sensitivity.
If Bruxism continues, long-term effects can be more severe. Significant damage can occur to the teeth, such as chipping, flattening, or fracturing. There is also the chance of your child developing TMJ, which will cause further pain in the jaw, making it challenging to chew or open their mouth. Fortunately, there are ways to prevent this long-term damage from occurring.
Your dentist can prescribe a mouth guard that can be worn at night to protect your child’s teeth. If the grinding is related to stress, you can work on finding ways to help your child relax. This can involve reading together before bed, relaxation exercises, or even work with a therapist if the anxiety is severe.
If you find your child is grinding their teeth at night, be sure to call your emergency dentist in Orange Park, FL. We will help you determine the potential cause, as well as any damage that may have already been done to the teeth.