The medical term for grinding your teeth or clenching your jaw is bruxism. It affects a lot of kids, but most outgrow it and don’t have any long-term problems.
What causes teeth grinding?
There are a few reasons why teeth grinding at night you need:
Teeth that don’t fit together right pain, like from an earache or from cutting teeth stress, like from worrying about a test or a change in routine. Even fighting with your parents or siblings can be stressful enough to make you grind your teeth or clench your jaw.
For medical reasons, like hyperactivity, cerebral palsy, or some medicines,
What bad things could happen?
Most of the time, people don’t notice bruxism, and it doesn’t cause any problems. The grinding sound is often more annoying to other family members.
But sometimes it can cause:
Headaches, chipped or worn tooth enamel, sensitive teeth, jaw, ear, or face pain
How is bruxism found out?
Usually, brothers or sisters or parents are the ones who notice something is wrong.
Some things to look out for:
Grinding noises when your child is sleeping, they wake up with a sore jaw or face or they have pain when they chew.
If you think your child grinds his or her teeth, you should take him or her to the dentist. The dentist will look for chipped enamel and unusual wear and tear on the teeth, and he or she will spray air and water on the teeth to see if they are sensitive.
How do you treat bruxism?
Dentists may give a child a special night guard if grinding and clenching their teeth hurts their face and jaw or damages their teeth. The night guard is like the mouthpieces that athletes wear to protect their teeth. It is made to fit the child’s teeth.
How can moms and dads help?
Help kids relax before bedtime, no matter what is causing them to grind their teeth. They could take a warm bath or shower, listen to some soothing music, or read a book.
If your child is grinding his or her teeth because of stress, find out what’s upsetting him or her and try to help. For example, a child who is nervous about going camping for the first time might need to know that mom or dad will be close by if they need help.
In rare cases, simple ways to deal with stress aren’t enough to stop teeth-grinding. If your child can’t sleep or acts differently than usual, talk to your dentist or doctor about how to help.
Guards for the mouth and braces
Mouthguards are a type of occlusal splint that may be helpful.
The source you can count on for sleep bruxism. They stop your teeth from grinding together while you sleep by giving them a cushion.
Mouthguards can be made to order at a dentist’s office or bought at a store (OTC).
You may need a custom-made mouthguard to protect your teeth from damage. They may also make your jaw feel better. Custom-made mouthguards cost more than those you can buy at the store, but they may be better for some people.
Reduction of the crown
The biting surface of your teeth can be reshaped or evened out with a dental procedure called reductive coroplast. It might work if you grind your teeth because your teeth are too close together, out of place, or crooked.
In some cases, the teeth may be built up with a second procedure called “additive coroplast.” Either procedure can be done by your dentist.
Researchers found evidence in four studies that botulinum toxin (Botox) injections may help people who are otherwise healthy feel less pain and grind their teeth less often.
But in a later study, researchers found that more research is needed to confirm that Botox is safe and effective for treating teeth grinding.
Before you get Botox injections to stop teeth grinding, talk to your doctor about the pros and cons.
Biofeedback is a way to help people become aware of their behavior and stop doing it. It can help with both sleep and awake teeth grinding.
During biofeedback, a biofeedback therapist will use visual, vibratory, or audible feedback from electromyography to teach you how to control how your jaw muscles move.
Some people may grind their teeth because they have mental health problems, such as stress, depression, or anxiety. Still, more research is needed to show a link between teeth grinding and these health problems.