Teeth Grinding In Kids
TEETH GRINDING IN KIDS WHEN SHOULD YOU WORRY???
Does your child makes gnashing/ teeth grinding noises while sleeping? Or Does your child clenches teeth a lot?
In medical terms, Teeth Grinding / Clenching is known as Bruxism. Occasional teeth grinding is a fairly common problem in children
but if continued over a longer period of time, it can be a sign for a bigger problem and should not be ignored.
- Teething:-During Teething, children may often do teeth grinding in order to relieve gum soreness or itching. This is usually a temporary phase and kids outgrow it.
- Stress & Anxiety:- Stress or change in routine (such as exams time, new school, etc.) are a very common cause of bruxism in kids.
- Worms/ Parasitic Infection:- Bruxism or teeth grinding is a major sign of parasitic infection (such as tapeworms, hookworms, Trichinella, etc.). If ignored, this problem usually worsens with time.
- Airway issues:- Sleep apnea or small airway are also potential causes of teeth grinding. Improper airway can lead to lack of deep/ REM sleep and can be exhibited as bruxism as a symptom.
- Malocclusions:- Improper bites/occlusion or maligned teeth can cause teeth grinding tendencies.
- Nutritional deficiencies/ Allergies/ Endocrine Disorders:- Certain deficiencies such as Vitamin A, D and K2 reduces immunity and make kids more prone to parasitic infections.
Effects of Bruxism
- Attrition/ Tooth Fracture:- Teeth grinding can lead to loss of enamel or wearing out of tooth layers or even fracture/ craze lines in tooth structure.
- Sensitivity:- Chipping or loss of enamel can lead to sensitivity in teeth, leading to inability to eat or drink (hot/cold items).
- TMJ Disorder/ Headaches/ Earaches:- Bruxism can also result in jaw soreness, undefined headaches and earaches.
- Tiredness/ Irritability/ Mood Swings:- Bruxism is a result of improper sleep, which further results in tiredness, fatigue, lethargy. All these often makes a kid irritated or he/she may exhibit mood swings.
Treatment of Teeth grinding
- If the problem is because of Teething, the kid will outgrow it or the issue will resolve once the teeth erupts.
- Stress-induced bruxism can be dealt with, by counselling the kid, by being more attentive to the emotional/ mental requirements of the child during the transition phase. In extreme cases, professional help can be seeked.
- Deworming / Anti-worm Medication:- Different anti-parasitic medications are available for different worm-infections. The best suited medication can be given after consultation with the pediatrician.
- A visit to the Dentist:- A full functional dental examination along with an detailed airway examination. If needed, certain dentofacial orthopaedic treatments for airway improvement and correction of maligned teeth can be done. An Orthodontist is the best suited specialist to deal with problems.
- Mouth Guards/ Night Guards:- In case of major bruxism or grinding, soft splints or mouth guards can be given to prevent chipping or wearing of teeth.
- Probiotic drinks/ Multi-vitamin rich diet:- A proper balanced diet with inclusions of probiotic foods and drinks and a vitamin rich diet can improve the immunity and help kids to ward of parasitic infections.
Prevention of Bruxism
Prevention is always considered better than cure!!!
So here also certain habits/ routines, if followed, can prevent bruxism.
- Providing a balanced diet to the kids.
- Following an annual Deworming regimen, as per the advice of a pediatrician.
- Being emotional supportive of kids during the phase of major transitions.
- Giving an ample amount of time to kids, having regular family times.
- Keeping a check for any behavioral and sleeping pattern changes in kids.
- Regular bi-annually visits, to the dentist to cater for any developing airway and teeth alignment problems.
A Little time and attention, can prevent Bigger problems!!!
In case your child also suffer from Bruxism then visit your nearest kids dentist or look out for kids dentist near me for getting the treatment