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Childhood Teeth Grinding

Young child smilingIf your child grinds his or her teeth, you may be familiar with the sounds of unpleasant grinding and popping noises when he or she sleeps. Bruxism (the dental term for nighttime teeth grinding and clenching) is common in childhood. In fact, around 3 kids out of 10 will experience bruxism either as a response to stress, losing teeth, jaw growth, malocclusion, or even allergies. Children often outgrow bruxism by their teeth years, but it can still be damaging.

Childhood Bruxism

The first step in helping your child recover from and treat bruxism is to notice the signs. Below are a few common symptoms of childhood bruxism:

  • Grinding sounds when your child is sleeping
  • Complaints of headaches, earaches or facial pain with no apparent cause
  • Tooth sensitivity
  • Complaints of pain or tightness in the jaw with no apparent cause
  • Pain when chewing
  • Chipped, loose, or worn-down teeth

While the above symptoms are the most common, some children won’t experience any symptoms at all. They may feel no pain or tightness. If parents or siblings don’t hear or notice the teeth grinding, it may go completely unnoticed.

However, some children will wake up with headaches, jaw pain, and even neck and should pain. Additionally, bruxism can cause many dental complications, including cracked teeth, misaligned jaws, and gum recession. If left untreated, teeth grinding can have serious consequences including tooth fractures, loss of teeth, and damage to the temporomandibular joint (the joint that allows the jaws to move).

If your child is suffering from bruxism, our team here at Piedmont Pediatric Dentistry can help. For more information, please don’t hesitate to contact our Greensboro, North Carolina children’s dental office today.

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