Do your kids grind their teeth?

By Drum Digital
17 June 2014

Have you ever gone to check on your sleeping child to hear them grinding their teeth in their sleep? It can be worrying if you don’t know why they’re doing it! Here’s some sound advice from a dentist to put your mind at ease.

Have you ever gone to check on your sleeping child to hear them grinding their teeth in their sleep? It can be worrying if you don’t know why they’re doing it! Here’s some sound advice from a dentist to put your mind at ease.

What is teeth grinding?

The medical term for teeth grinding is bruxism and when it occurs at night it’s referred to as nocturnal bruxism. Two or three children out of every 10 will grind their teeth and some outgrow it while for others it will continue until adulthood.

Why do kids grind their teeth?

The grinding could be caused by stress, nervous tension or anger. But sometimes it occurs when their permanent set of teeth is developing and they are subconsciously clenching their jaw to ease the pain. Another reason could be that their teeth aren’t aligned.

Is it dangerous? 

Children who grind their teeth could experience headaches or temperature sensitivity in their teeth or even chip their teeth. Chronic grinders could also suffer facial pain and experience jaw problems, which could result in a condition referred to as temporomandibular joint disorder (TMJ/TMD).

How do you stop it?

Gauteng dentist Dr Abdul Ismael says a sibling sharing a room with the child who grinds or clenches their teeth normally brings it to a parent’s attention. “We have night-time mouth guards that we give to the patient; they come in different colours that the patient can choose from. The night guard is soft, it’s made from rubbery material and it stops the child from grinding,” he says.

“Most parents come to the dentist to get help for their child but it is important to know that this is also a psychological condition.”

-Londiwe Dlomo

Extra sources: kidshealth.org, webmd.com, medicalnewstoday.com

Come and like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and pin along on Pinterest.

Find Love!

Men
Women