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What Can I Do About My Child’s Nighttime Teeth Grinding?

added on: May 9, 2022

Are you a parent of a little one who’s growing more concerned about how they grind their teeth in their sleep? This is something your pediatric dentist in Medford commonly refers to as sleep bruxism. According to the Sleep Foundation, studies show that anywhere from six percent to almost 50 percent of children have issues with grinding their teeth while they sleep. Bruxism is believed to be quite common in kids and can begin as soon as their teeth start to come in as a baby. 

Let’s dive into sleep bruxism or grinding, what it looks like, and what you need to know as a parent.

What Are Common Signs of Teeth Grinding in Kids?

As your pediatric dentist in Medford, we can spot teeth that have been affected by grinding. Here are the most common signs and symptoms that you can be on the lookout for with your little one:

  • Noticeable grinding or even popping noises when your child is sleeping that are caused by the teeth grinding and moving against one another.
  • Increased tooth sensitivity when chewing or biting foods, caused by pressure and stress placed on the teeth due to regular grinding.
  • Unusual wear and tear to your child’s teeth and enamel that’s usually best diagnosed by us in the office. 

Your kiddo might also complain of pain in their jaw or soreness due to overuse of muscles during the constant grinding motion. If you notice one or more of these signs, you’ll want to schedule an appointment with us so we can help. 

What Causes Kids to Grind Their Teeth?

When we work with parents and kiddos who struggle with bruxism, we find that some common causes are relevant to most children and their teeth grinding habits which can include:

  • Stress and anxiety in kids and adults can end up with clenching and grinding as a response, especially at night or bedtime. 
  • Bite problems that cause a child’s teeth not to fit together correctly can also lead to unwanted bruxism issues. 
  • Pain response to an underlying condition such as an earache or teething as a youngster is another common cause of grinding. 

The best way to get to the root of your child’s bruxism is to schedule some time to come to the office and talk with your pediatric dentist in Medford.

Treating the grinding can be as simple as addressing stress or anxiety with lifestyle changes, orthodontic solutions, or a custom nightguard that can stop sleep grinding in its tracks. We can create an appliance that’s comfortable for your child and easily prevents tooth-to-tooth contact if grinding continues to occur. It’s natural to be concerned about grinding, and you’ll want to seek help soon to avoid the effects of bruxism like fractured teeth receding gums, TMJ pain, eating and mental health disorders, and sleep disruption. (Not to mention all of the loud, annoying sounds that come with grinding could be keeping everyone else in the house up at night.) 

Don’t struggle with grinding anymore! Call us and schedule your appointment today!