Bruxism, or the grinding of teeth, is common in both children and adults. For most children, grinding of the teeth occurs at night. Dr. Andrew Smith and Dr. Jason Wareham can provide treatments to help your child avoid the dental problems associated with bruxism and achieve a healthier mouth. To learn more about nighttime grinding and our treatments, and to schedule an appointment for your child with our dentists in Murray, Utah, call Wasatch Gentle Dental at 801-262-6661.
Bruxism can cause significant damage to your child’s teeth. Chronic grinders usually show patterns of excessive wear on the enamel of their teeth. Children who grind are also more likely to experience chipped teeth, facial pain, gum injury, and sensitivity to temperature. In extreme cases, your child will develop a TMJ (temporomandibular, or jaw, joint) disorder. Almost everyone who grinds their teeth experiences moderate to severe jaw discomfort, headaches, and ear pain.
Symptoms of bruxism include:
- Frequent complaints of headaches
- Injured teeth and gums
- Loud grinding or clicking sounds
- Rhythmic tightening or clenching of the jaw muscles
- Unusual complains about painful jaw muscles, especially in the morning
- Unusual sensitivity to hot and cold foods
Bruxism can be caused by any number of factors. Most commonly, it is the result of a bad bite or jaw misalignment. Bruxism can also occur as a result of stress, or as a side effect of developmental disorders or brain injuries. Occasionally, it may even be a side effect of a specific medication.
Bruxism usually ceases by about age 13 in the majority of children. In the meantime, our dentists will monitor your child’s teeth, and may recommend a treatment to intervene if the damage becomes severe. Treatments for bruxism depend on the cause of the grinding and the extent of the damage. Our dentists may recommend altering the biting surface of the teeth with dental crowns or other treatments, and beginning occlusal or orthodontic treatments. We may also recommend relaxation classes, professional therapy, special exercised, muscle relaxants, or nighttime mouth guards.
For more information about childhood bruxism and our available treatments, please contact our office today.