Bruxism or teeth grinding is a medical condition in which a person clenches or grinds his or her upper and lower teeth together. In bruxism, people are mostly unaware that they are already clenching or grinding their teeth. Children are more at risks for teeth grinding, compared to adults. In fact, in every 10 children, 2 of which are suffering from bruxism or teeth grinding. Good thing is that most children who have bruxism can outgrow the said condition, but there are also children who can’t outgrow bruxism and can bring the medical condition during adult years causing several complications. Even though bruxism is quite common in children, it is very important to bring your child to his or her dentist and physician right away if you can notice any signs of teeth grinding. Teeth grinding can cause damages to your child’s set of teeth, and it can also cause discomforts to the jaw muscles.
How to Know if Your Child has Bruxism
Teeth Grinding in Children
Bruxism is not that hard to determine or notice, since everytime your child grinds his or her teeth, there will always be a loud and distinct grinding sound produced. And when your child clenches his or her teeth, which usually does not produce any sound, you can easily determine clenching episodes just by looking at your child’s mouth. Aside from listening to the sound produced when your child grinds his or her teeth, you can also inspect your child’s set of teeth for any obvious damages. Damages are usually obvious on the teeth enamel.
Causes of Bruxism in Children
The exact cause for bruxism or teeth grinding in both children and adults is still unknown up to the present times. However, the most common factor that is believed to greatly associate with bruxism in both children and adults is stress. Children can still get stressed through several stressors, such as exams, school works, bullies, social responsibilities, death of a family member or loved ones, and many more. Aside from stress, bruxism in children can also be caused by misaligned upper and lower teeth.
Can Bruxism be Prevented?
Since the exact cause of bruxism is not known yet, avoiding possible causative factors can help in preventing bruxism or teeth grinding. Just like in bruxism associated with stress, avoiding stressors and effective coping mechanisms can really be a great help in the prevention of teeth grinding. Proper relaxation techniques, such as deep breathing, guided imagery, etc., can also help in preventing teeth grinding or bruxism.