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When you check on your child while they sleep, you may be surprised to hear them grinding their teeth. This problem is called bruxism, and about 30% of children experience it. Though most kids do grow out of teeth grinding and clenching at night, some experience continuous, severe bruxism that may necessitate further action.

Causes Of Bruxism In Children

There are several factors that contribute to the teeth grinding and clenching your child experiences while they sleep. Some of these factors include:

  • Anxiety
  • Misaligned teeth
  • Problems with the TMJ (the jaw joint)
  • Hyperactivity
  • Reaction to medication
  • Habit
  • Medical conditions like cerebral palsy

Symptoms Of Bruxism In Children

Sometimes it can be difficult to tell if your child has bruxism, but here are a few signs that indicate the presence of this condition:

  • You hear them grinding at night
  • Their teeth are chipped or worn
  • Your child complains of painful chewing and sensitivity to hot or cold foods
  • Their jaw and facial muscles feel sore
  • They experience dull, morning headaches or earaches

Treatments For Bruxism In Children

Though children grow out of bruxism, there are some ways you can help relieve it, which is especially important if their grinding is severe. These treatment options include:

  • Helping your child relax before they go to sleep (play soothing music, give them a warm bath, don’t have them eat before bed, etc.)
  • Finding out what triggers their anxiety and remove this cause
  • Asking our dentist if your child should protect their mouth with a night guard

Please call Price Pediatric Dentistry today if you want to learn more treatment solutions for your child’s bruxism.