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How to Identify Teeth Grinding in Children

Teeth grinding or bruxism is more common to affect children, however, most children who are suffering from teeth grinding or bruxism can outgrow the problem, but there are really some children who can’t outgrow it and suffer the problem until they are adults. The main cause of teeth grinding or bruxism is not really known as of the moment, but what is known is that teeth grinding or bruxism can greatly be precipitated by psychosocial factors, specifically stress. It is very important to determine or identify if a person is suffering at risk for bruxism, for possible complications to be prevented from happening.

Children with Bruxism

How to Identify Teeth Grinding in Children

Bruxism can happen during the day or even during sleep. Teeth grinding during sleep is given the term, “sleep bruxism”. In bruxism, the child suffering from the condition clenches or grinds his or her teeth without him or her noticing. One of the best ways to identify whether your child is suffering from bruxism is observing your child as he or she is sleeping. A child suffering from bruxism will most likely grind and/or clenches his or her teeth during sleep, which can produce an obvious and distinct grating sound.

Other Identifications for Teeth Grinding in Children

  1. Strained or Painful Facial Muscles – too often teeth grinding or clenching can cause facial muscle pain or even damage facial muscle. Children who are suffering from teeth grinding or bruxism will usually complain of pain on their jaw, cheeks, and even other facial areas. Teeth grinding can also cause earaches and headaches.
  2. Sensitive Set of Teeth – another identifying factor of children suffering from teeth grinding is sensitive teeth. Aside from increased teeth sensitivity, children suffering from teeth grinding will also have worn out set of teeth. Loss of enamel and chipped or broken teeth are also other identifiable factors for teeth grinding in children and adults alike.
  3. Oral Fixations – although not all oral fixations are associated with teeth grinding, oral fixations can still be associated with teeth grinding. Thumb sucking, chewing pencil tips, or any abnormal chewing behaviors are considered to be a type of oral fixation. Oral fixations are believed to occur in children suffering from teeth grinding or bruxism, since it can be a way for them to release muscle tension caused by tight jaw and mouth muscles caused by frequent teeth grinding and teeth clenching. As some children outgrow their teeth grinding problem, oral fixations will also be outgrown.