Many people don’t realize it, but bruxism (teeth grinding) is quite common in both children and adults. For some children, the grinding is restricted to daytime hours, but nighttime grinding – while the child is asleep - is the most common form. And according to dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych, bruxism can create a number of dental problems, depending on the frequency, intensity and cause of the grinding.
Parents can usually hear intense grinding during the nighttime hours, but daytime grinding can be harder to identify. Some symptoms include:
- Frequent headaches;
- Teeth and gum injuries;
- Loud grinding or clicking noises;
- Rhythmic tightening of the jaw muscles;
- Pain in the jaw muscles, particularly in the morning;
- Uncommon sensitivity to hot and/or cold foods.
Your dentist Columbia reports that bruxism can be the result of a bad bite or a misaligned jaw. If your child is going through an exceptionally stressful time in his or her life, nighttime grinding may begin or worsen.
In cases where the grinding is stronger, your child may feel jaw discomfort, ear pain and headaches. Even if the child or the parents are not aware of the nighttime grinding, the condition of the child’s teeth can present the dentist with important clues.
In most children, teeth grinding stops on its own when the child reaches the age of 13. Until that time, your dentist Columbia will closely monitor its effect on your child’s teeth.
In general, the cause of the grinding dictates what the treatment will include. If the child’s teeth are seriously misaligned, your dentist may suggest altering the biting surface of his/her teeth with crowns.
In cases where young teeth are suffering considerable damage, your dentist Columbia may suggest a specialized dental appliance such as a mouth guard to be worn at night. Bite splints or plates achieve the same purpose, and are almost always successful in preventing damage from bruxism.
If you have questions or concerns about your child’s teeth grinding – don’t hesitate - call the office of dentist Columbia Dr. Gregory Wych today to schedule a consultation. Your child’s health could depend on it!