Bruxism – When Children Grind Teeth In Their Sleep



Definition

Do your kids have a bad habit of grinding their teeth during their sleep? Bruxism, also known as the gnashing of teeth, is a condition characterized by incessant grinding of one’s upper and lower teeth. As of 2008, scientists are still unsure as to what causes Bruxism. Some speculate that it could be related to the growing of teeth. Perhaps children begin gnashing their teeth to pacify the pain from incoming teeth. However, studies also show that children oftentimes gnash their teeth when feeling nervous and giddy. The most prominent research indicates that Bruxism may be the cause of disturbed sleep. Disruptions in REM sleep can cause children to grind their teeth.



Effects

Occasional grinding of teeth isn’t something bad. But incessant grinding, or Bruxism, is troubling because it can gradually wear away teeth enamel, weaken the gums, and eventually lead to loss of teeth. Young kids are fortunately safe in their gnashing simply because they will inevitably lose most of their initial baby teeth. Furthermore, children usually grow out of Bruxism after a couple years. In the instances where they do not grow out of it, it will be necessary for you to seek medical attention for the condition. Otherwise, they will be doing undue damage to their adult teeth.



Seeking Help

If you child is still gnashing his or her teeth by the age of 10, you need to take them to see a child dentist. The first thing a dentist will usually do is give your child a mouth guard. These nifty gadgets will prevent your child from gnashing his or her teeth while asleep. If required, your child can also wear these throughout the day. Second, a dentist will encourage you to determine the underlying cause for your child’s Bruxism. More often than not, the Bruxism is occurring during your child’s sleep. Dentists therefore typically recommend easing your child into sleep by having him or her shower first, and then gentling massaging their jaw.



Conclusion

Thankfully, Bruxism is a very common condition and not a need for shock or cumbersome concern. Especially if your child is still very young, you need not worry too hard. Keep an eye out on their gnashing as they grow up. If it continues for several years, then definitely seek out the assistance of a professional. Otherwise, relax because more than likely, your child will grow out of it before they hit their teens.