When your kids grind their teeth or clenching their jaw, it is called bruxism. Bruxism tends to happen when your kid is sleeping deeply and also happens when he or she is under stress.
It happens in a time when their baby teeth emerge and they welcoming the permanent ones. There are about 15 percent to 33 percent of children grind their teeth. The habit of grinding teeth will be gone when their permanent teeth are fully grown.
There is no exact diagnosis about why kids grinding teeth. It is probably because of the improper align of the teeth or the contact between upper and lower teeth is not regular. It can also happen because of illness and other medical condition such as allergies, endocrine disorder, and pinworm. Some other psychological factors can also cause bruxism to happen.
In kids, grinding teeth can cause problems like pain in the jaw and headaches. If your kids feel pain in the jaw or other parts of the head because of grinding teeth, speak to your doctor immediately.
There some signs or symptoms you need to know to watch for.
Many kids are not aware of the bruxism. So, the role of parents and siblings are needed here.
– You will hear a noise of teeth grinding when your child sleeps.
– Your kid will complain about the pain they feel when they wake up in the morning.
– Your kid will feel pain when they are chewing meal.
When the symptoms happen, you should visit a doctor to have him examine the teeth for unusual wear and chipped enamel. The Doctor may spray air and water on the teeth to check if there is something unusual in sensitivity.
After the doctor found the damage, he will ask some questions to help him acknowledge the causes. The questions are about the children’s feeling before bed, whether they are worried of something, the angry feeling with someone, and the activity before bed. From all those questions, the doctor will know the causes; it could be anatomical or psychological. Then, the doctor will know what the effective treatment is.
– Reduce the stress your kid has. Give him some kind of stress release especially before bed time. Do relaxing activities such as taking a warm bath, listening to a relaxing music, or reading fairy tale book.
– Dehydration. It is one of the bruxism causes. So, make sure your kid’s diet plan involving a lot of water.
– Having the dentist to monitor the teeth of your kid whether she or he has a bruxism or not.
In some cases, the dentist might recommend a special night guard treatment. It is molded to the teeth of your kid. It is like the protective mouthpieces worn by athletes. It prevents your kids grinding teeth while sleeping. Most kid gets positive result from it.
Most children, who already have full permanent teeth, won’t grind their teeth anymore. There are still a few other kids that continue to grind into teenager, but only a few. If that is caused by physiological, the bruxism will be gone when the stress is away.
Teeth Grinding Effects
It occurs frequently during sleep. One of the sleep conditions that tied to teeth grinding is sleep apnea. Sleep apnea is a condition where the sleep is disrupted by pauses in breathing. This condition can stay about one minute or more, and there is choking sound that follows. Many people do not realize that they have this kind of problem, so this is still under diagnosed.
Teeth and Jaw Clenching Effects
This happens when you hold your mouth tightly in the same position. That condition could make pain on the jaw muscles. It is because the jaw become tired and sore because of the too-much movement and pressure. It can cause chronic headaches too. Clenching is also related to stress. It might also relate to habitual chewing on something including gum, pens or pencils.
Temporomandibular Joint Effects (TMJ)
This thing connects skull and jawbone. This is where the person with bruxism clenches. It will make TMJ disorders. The TMJ disorders are not always caused by bruxism, it can also occur because of arthritis and injuries to the jaw. The symptoms of TMJ disorders are:
– A pain in the face or jawline
– A sore feeling around the ear
– Tenderness of the Jaw
– Feeling pain when chewing
– Clicking when the mouth is opened
Based on some researches, women between ages of 20 and 40 are most likely to have TMJ disorder. But, it doesn’t represent the number of all sufferers.
If the symptoms happen to you and your kids, you can do something to reduce the pain or get rid of it for a while by doing these home remedies:
– have a warm and wet washcloth and put it on your jaw.
– massage the muscle of your jaw, face, and the neck. It can relieve tension on trigger points.
– Get some physical therapy
– Relax the jaw by doing some exercise.
Actually, some medications can also be very helpful for reducing the pain. But, it is only recommended for adults, you can give medications to your kids too but it is all based on your doctor’s prescription or recommendation. Most doctors do not recommend to use medications for your kids. The medications that might be used in bruxism treatment are:
– Muscle relaxants. If you suffer with bruxism, the doctor will suggest you to take these before bed for a short time period.
– Botox injections. This is very advanced phase. But, this medication is very helpful for some people who have severe bruxism. When other treatments do not help, Botox injection is the solution.