If your child grinds their teeth during the night, you might be concerned about how the problem affects their dental health in the future. Your concern may increase if you can't figure out why your loved one grinds their teeth in the first place. One of the possible reasons for your child's teeth grinding is stress. Here's how stress may potentially lead to bruxism and what you can do to address both.
How Can Stress Trigger Teeth Grinding?
Although it isn't exactly clear why people grind their teeth, stress, anxiety, and other emotional issues may potentially lead to bruxism in adults and children. Work-related stress is one of the possible causes for adult bruxism. But when it comes to children, it's not always easy to tell why they feel stressed or anxious. In this case, examine the things in your child's life that could potentially trigger their emotional distress.
If your child is old enough to discuss it with you, ask them about school and how they feel about their peers, classwork, and teachers. Sometimes, children experience things at school that frighten or bother them, such as bullying or getting poor grades. The fears can interfere with how well children sleep at night by making them clench their jaws or grind their teeth.
If your child can't discuss what's bothering them, consult with their instructors. You can also speak with a school counselor about your child's stress. Once you know about the root cause of your child's teeth grinding, you may take steps to overcome it.
After your child overcomes the stress in their life, take steps to treat and stop their bruxism.
What Can You Do to Help Your Child?
If you didn't have a chance to speak to a pediatric dentist at a place like Sunnyside Dentistry for Children about your little one's bruxism, do so now. Teeth grinding can affect your child's dental health in numerous ways. Bruxism can damage the bite surfaces of your child's teeth. The bite surfaces of your child's teeth may appear broken, cracked, or worn down. A dentist may place crowns on your child's teeth to repair the damages in them.
A provider may request that your child wear a sleep or mouth guard at night. The guard creates a protective layer between your child's upper and lower teeth. The guard also alleviates tension in the jaws when your child clenches them together. Some people develop temporomandibular joint disorder from bruxism. The disorder may potentially cause pain, inflammation, and soreness in your child's jaws.
It's possible for your child to develop gum disease when they grind their teeth. If gum disease isn't treated properly, it can affect your child's dental health as a teen or young adult. Gum disease can also cause premature tooth loss if it spreads to the tissues that hold teeth inside their tooth sockets. To prevent keep these issues from happening in the future, it's important that your child has their teeth and gums cleaned right away.
You can also take steps to keep your child from grinding their teeth or clenching their jaws by maintaining a stress-free home. Activities like game night can help reduce stress and anxiety in children. You can also take walks in the neighborhood or plan a visit to the beach. If you don't know what to plan for your activities, ask your child to choose them for you.
Also, monitor your child's success in school. If your loved one's grades fall, consult with their teachers right away. Your child may need a tutor to help them improve in school.
To learn more about your child's bruxism, contact a pediatric dentist today.