During the time that you usually expect to experience nothing but peace and quiet, a strange noise escapes from your child's mouth. Teeth grinding, or bruxism, can present itself when children are very young. The rhythmic movements of the jaw happen during sleep and many afflicted with the disorder are unaware of it, whether it be children or adults. Read on to find out more about what to do when your child experiences bruxism.
Is Your Child Grinding Their Teeth?
At first, you may not notice your child grinding their teeth. The sound made by adults and the sound made by a child during a teeth grinding incident are different and it can be difficult to catch them in the act. In most cases, you can actually observe the movements of the jaw your child makes during sleep more readily than hearing a sound. Your child can also exhibit some jaw movements that appear to be teeth-grinding while awake. It's not unusual for children with emerging teeth to move their jaws around as a result of the discomfort. The sensation of teeth being lost and growing in can prompt children to make grinding motions even if they are not in pain.
What Causes Teeth Grinding?
Science has yet to discover a cause for this malady. There are theories linking bruxism to stress, parasites, digestive disorders, and more. The good news is that this problem may not be much of a problem at all. While it's distressing to witness, few cases of childhood bruxsim end up causing lasting damage to the teeth. Children may grind their teeth for all sorts of reasons and it has been found that they do it in numbers far greater than adults do. In most cases, the tendency to practice this behavior fades away as they grow – never to return.
Should You Take Action?
It's important to check the situation out. For example, some children grind their teeth due to an earache or toothache. A visit to your pediatrician and your family dentist for a check-up will help assure you that there are no underlying problems that need to be addressed. If it appears that your child has nothing else going on your dentist may suggest the use of mouth guard. Persistent and long-term grinding can affect the integrity of the teeth and alter the bite. Talk to your family dentist about your child's bruxism.
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