Teeth grinding or Bruxism (the medical term for the grinding of teeth or the clenching of jaws) is very commonly seen in young children by parents. Parents commonly attribute it to worms, which is wrong. Two to three out of every 10 kids will grind or clench, experts say, but most outgrow it.
Causes of Bruxism
- Not clear completely
- as a response to pain, such as an earache or teething
- Stress (usually nervous tension or anger) is another cause. For eg. If arguing with siblings or parents can lead to this. Or some tension in the school setting due to bullying or school test etc.
- Hyperactive child, other medical illnesses ( eg, Cerebral palsy, etc)
- Comforting and supporting your child is needed as most of the kids outgrow this condition with time.
- If needed visit to the dentist can help just to rule out dental anomalies. In very severe cases dentist might prescribe a night guard molded to a child’s teeth.
- Relaxing before going to sleep help eg. Listening to music, reading a book, parents sleeping with kids in the same room.
- Discuss with the child what is upsetting him/her. Tell them everything is going to be alright. If the issue is more complicated, such as moving to a new town, discuss your child’s concerns and try to ease any fears. If you’re concerned, talk to your doctor.
- In severe cases, it is always better to visit your child’s doctor for an opinion.
- Childhood bruxism is usually outgrown by adolescence.
Regads Dr. Rahul Varma