Children and babies have the tendency to grind their teeth at night even more so than adults. It has the potential to cause serious damage to their teeth and gums and permanent dental damage. It is just as important, if not more so, do make sure your child’s teeth are thoroughly examined on a regular basis. If you believe that your child may be grinding their teeth at night it is important that instead of diagnosing it on your own that you take them to the dentist as soon as possible so it can be properly diagnosed.
Teeth Grinding in Children
Bruxism is a very common condition for children under the age of 11. Often times it is considered to be a normal behavior but it is anything but. It can potentially damage your child’s teeth permanently and even cause them severe pain. It causes tooth wear and pain as well as trouble sleeping. It often goes ignored by parents but should be diagnosed sooner rather than later. There are no known causes but many experts believe that it is caused by stress and anxiety especially in the early teen years. Bruxism is a serious condition that should not be left untreated.
In babies, it is thought that teeth grinding is simply an arousal response when they go from sleeping to waking. It is most common in babies and young children who snore or breathe through their mouths. Sometimes it is caused by a condition called sleep apnea which keeps airways tightened where air cannot safely get through. This can be an even more serious condition as it could cause your child to gasp for air and even suffocate. If your child sleeps on their back, it is more common for them to grind their teeth.
Treatment Options for Kids
There are some treatment options that are available if your child experiences teeth grinding. Often medications such as certain antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications are prescribed to keep down your child’s anxiety and allow them to rest peacefully. In older children, dentists may prescribe a mouth guard to keep them from grinding their teeth at night while also preventing further jaw pain. Keep in mind that this is not something that is safe for a baby or young child to use and it is typically only recommended for children who are as old as 10-12.
If you are under the impression that your child is grinding their teeth at night it is crucial that you take them to the dentist right away for a checkup. Bruxism can cause them pain and discomfort and even permanent damage to their teeth. Play it safe and take your child to the doctor as soon as possible.