Bruxism, also known as teeth grinding involves grinding of both sets of teeth together, consciously or unconsciously, when awake or during sleep. It can lead to several dental and medical problems due to the stress it exerts on the surrounding structures in the jaw, teeth, and head.
Teeth grinding is often associated with stress and anxiety. It can also occur due to misalignment of teeth, missing teeth or an abnormal bite. It may also be seen in certain sleep disorders such as sleep apnea. Other causes of severe teeth grinding include:
Bruxism is a subconscious action, which means children are unaware that they are doing it. While the child is asleep, the force with which the jaws clench together can be upto 6 times higher than the pressure while the child is awake which indicates that nighttime bruxism causes significant damage.
Symptoms of kids grinding teeth include:
There are plenty of treatments available for teeth grinding. A mouthpiece for grinding teeth decreases the sensation of teeth grinding. It also helps to alleviate the pain and protect teeth from excessive wear and tear, preventing future damage. Other methods include:
Some tips to help children sleep better include:
In extreme cases, the child may be referred to a psychologist or psychiatrist to help with severe stress and suppressed emotions that have led to teeth grinding. If the teeth are worn out, it is important to visit a dentist to avoid future complications such as dental abscess or an infection. Parents who feel their child may be suffering from a sleep disorder must visit a pediatrician or a sleep specialist.
Disclaimer: The information in the article is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your doctor.
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