Why Do Kids Grind Their Teeth at Night?
Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is a common problem among both adults and children. It is estimated that up to one in twenty children grind their teeth at night, a behavior that can often lead to jaw and facial issues. If your little one grinds their teeth at night while sleeping, come to Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders. For more information, call us or visit us online to book an appointment. We have convenient locations across the U.S. in Bloomington IL, Peoria/Dunlap IL, Lafayette IN, Mishawaka IN, Kansas City MO, El Paso TX, and Wausau WI.
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While the exact cause of bruxism is not completely understood, there are many potential factors that can contribute to teeth grinding in children. These can include stress, anxiety, misaligned teeth, and even sleep disorders such as sleep apnea.
Causes of teeth grinding in children include:
– Stress or anxiety — Mental distress can impede upon a good night’s rest for both children and adults. Bruxism is a common stress response from the body that can manifest symptoms both at night during sleep and during the day while awake. If you suspect your child has bruxism, pay close attention to them to see if they are clenching their jaw.
– Malocclusion — Children with bite issues such as an overbite or underbite are more susceptible to teeth grinding.
– Response to pain — Teeth grinding may provide relief to children who are suffering from teething or an earache as it temporarily soothes discomfort and provides a distraction from the pain.
– Hyperactivity — Children with ADHD are more likely to suffer from teeth grinding than those who do not, which is especially common in children who are taking medications for ADHD such as stimulants.
– Other medical conditions — Other conditions, both related to sleep and not, can contribute to teeth grinding, including epilepsy, cerebral palsy, GERD, night terrors and sleep apnea.
The first step in treating bruxism is determining the underlying cause, which typically requires an evaluation. The dentist will recommend the most effective treatment based on their findings. Common treatments for childhood teeth grinding include:
– Making lifestyle changes, such as:
– creating a consistent bedtime routine
– reducing their sugar and caffeine intake
– ensuring the child is getting enough exercise
– A customized night guard that:
– reduces pressure on the teeth
– protects them from damage
– mitigates other symptoms of teeth grinding.
– Reducing stress by finding the root of the problem and eliminating the stressor
On its own, teeth grinding is not considered a serious problem, but it can lead to deleterious complications. Untreated bruxism can lead to pain, tooth fracture, headaches, and temporomandibular disorders. Usually, patients seek treatment when the pain starts to spread, or when it becomes unbearable. Dentists may also notice wear patterns on teeth consistent with persistent mashing and recommend treatment accordingly.
Teeth grinding, medically known as bruxism, is a common and often overlooked condition that affects both adults and children. This condition occurs when an individual unknowingly grinds their teeth at night, resulting in a loud grating noise that disrupts their sleep. While the exact causes of bruxism are still not fully understood, it is believed to be linked with underlying medical conditions such as stress, anxiety, or even misaligned teeth. The effects of bruxism can range from mild to severe and may include issues such as headaches, jaw pain, and even damaged teeth.
If your little one is grinding their teeth at night or clenching their jaw during the day, come to Koala® Centers For Sleep & TMJ Disorders for treatments and therapies you can trust to provide effective relief. With our seven US locations, we serve patients from all across the country: we have one in Kansas City, MO; one in El Paso, TX; one in Wausau, WI; one in Lafayette, IN; one in Mishawaka, IN; one in Bloomington, IL; and one in Peoria – Dunlap, IL. Schedule an appointment at any of our locations today to receive high quality care from top-rated dedicated sleep team. We look forward to serving you!