When a parent looks in on their sleeping child, they wish to hear the sounds of sweet dreams, easy breathing and perhaps an occasional sigh. For some parents hearing the harsher sounds of gnashing and grinding of their child’s teeth (Bruxism) instead, is the reality.
It is the Habitual Nonfunctional Forceful contact between Occlusal Tooth Surfaces, which can occur while awake or asleep. Usually, 2 to 3 out of every 10 kids will grind or clench their teeth. Bruxism often happens during deep sleep phases or when kids are under stress.
Causes Of Bruxism
In some cases, kids may grind because the top and bottom teeth aren’t aligned properly. Others do it as a response to pain, such as from an earache or teething. Kids might grind their teeth as a way to ease the pain, just as they might rub a sore muscle. Nervous Tension or Anger is another cause. For instance, a child might worry about a test at school or a change in routine (a new sibling or a new teacher). Even arguing with parents and siblings can cause enough stress to prompt teeth grinding or jaw clenching. Hyperactive kids might also develop this habit. Kids with medical conditions (such as Cerebral Palsy) or those on medications such as antidepressants and amphetamines for managing Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) may also develop Bruxism.
Many cases go undetected with no ill effects, while others cause Dental Attrition, Headaches, Earaches, Temporomandibular Joint Dysfunction, and Soreness Of the Masticatory Muscles. Usually, though, it could be more bothersome to other family members because of the grinding sound.
How Long Does Bruxism Last?
Most kids stop grinding when they lose their baby teeth. However, a few kids do continue to grind into adolescence. If the Bruxism is caused by stress, it will continue until the stress eases.
Most kids outgrow Bruxism, but a combination of parental observation and dental visits can help keep the problem in check. In cases where the grinding and clenching make a child’s face and jaw sore or damage the teeth, the Pediatric Dentist may prescribe a special night guard.
Usually, Bruxism is a child’s natural reaction to growth and development; most cases can’t be prevented. Stress-Induced Bruxism can be avoided. So parents should talk with kids regularly about their feelings and help them deal with stress. Taking kids for routine visits to the pediatric dentist in Delhi can help find and treat the habit.