Did you ever wonder what that strange grinding sound is that you hear at night or occasionally during the day? Chances are it’s teeth grinding. Bruxism, or the grinding of teeth, is quite common in children and most prevalent during sleep. But the condition can lead to a wide range of dental problems, depending on the frequency of the behavior, the intensity of the grinding, and its underlying causes.
At the office of Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA, our professional team is committed to pediatric oral health, and wants to play an active role helping your child maintain a healthy set of teeth at every developmental stage.
A wide range of psychological and physiological factors may lead children to bruxism including jaw misalignment, stress, and traumatic brain injury. The condition can also occur as a side effect of certain medications. Oftentimes, certain symptoms can provide clues as to whether or not teeth grinding is having adverse effects — such as frequent headache and/or ear complaints, injured teeth and gums, complaints about painful jaw muscles, and unusual tooth sensitivity. There may be an excessive wear pattern on the teeth or chipped teeth. In extreme cases, frequent, harsh grinding can lead to the early onset of temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ).
Most cases of grinding diminish as your child matures. However, your pediatric dentist will continually monitor its effect on your child’s teeth and may provide an interventional strategy depending on the cause of the grinding.
In cases where young teeth are sustaining significant damage, a specialized nighttime dental appliance (such as a nighttime mouth guard) that stops the teeth from grinding against each other may be recommended. If the condition seems to be exacerbated by stress, your child may benefit from relaxation classes, professional therapy, or special exercises.
At the office of Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA, we offer the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care for your child’s dental needs. For more information about the services we provide, give us a call today.
By Perry L. Jeffries, DDS and Associates, PA
October 7, 2019