Teeth grinding (also known as bruxism) is one of the more common problems the Artisan Dental team see in children who visit our Royal Oak Dr. Victoria office. Between 20 – 30% of children grind or clench their teeth, and most of them will grow out of this behavior as they get older.
At a young age teeth grinding is unlikely to cause significant damage, but severe grinding may result in jaw and facial pain, headaches, increased temperature sensitivity, and wear and tear to tooth enamel.
Teeth grinding may be a symptom of anxiety in your child’s life. Stressors such as changing schools or not getting along with friends can easily affect children. If your child is having trouble sleeping, talk to them about their fears. Warm baths or story time can help relieve bedtime stress.
Teeth grinding could also be a physical response to the pain from an earache or teething. A dentist can check to see if the grinding is caused by a misalignment of the upper and lower jaw. Sometimes, teeth grinding is just a natural occurrence during periods of deep sleep.
Teeth grinding has also been linked to hyperactivity and sleep apnea in children. Children who are being treated for conditions including Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, and Epilepsy have been known to develop bruxism.