Babies may start grinding their teeth while awake, asleep, or doing both as they start teething.
Bruxism, often known as teeth grinding, is a very frequent problem.
Experts in medicine estimate that 20 to 30% of kids clench or grind their teeth, frequently when they sleep or in response to stress.
If you as a parent observe that your child has developed a tendency of grinding their teeth, you might be worried.
Even though most kids outgrow bruxism on their own and it’s not an emergency situation, you should deal with it right away to avoid tooth rot and injury.
Read on to discover more.
✅ Children typically outgrow teeth grinding, and it doesn’t cause any problems.
✅ If your child suffers from sleep bruxism that is harming their teeth or causing them pain in their jaw you can buy them a personalized nightguard.
✅ You’ll be relieved to learn that bruxism is not a significant source of worry.
✅ It can be difficult for you to tell if your infant is bruxing when they are asleep
Read on to find out more.
The reason behind my baby’s tooth grinding
When infants grind their teeth, what does that mean? Numerous causes can contribute to bruxism. Babies grind their teeth for a variety of reasons, including:
A somewhat flimsy or “slippery” bite is caused by a lack of teeth; when teeth initially begin to erupt, there may not always be enough teeth to establish contact with one another.
Discomfort – Babies who have their teeth out of alignment may experience discomfort.
If your infant is still teething, they may be unconsciously clenching their teeth to ease stress or other pain, such as earaches or headaches.
It can be challenging for parents to recognise their infant is in pain when they are too little to express it, especially if the grinding occurs while they are asleep. Instead, you’ll likely hear the distinct noises of their teeth rubbing against one another. Do not be alarmed; this is typical.
Your infant is healthy, and the issue will frequently go away on its own. But as we’ll see below, there are a few different ways to lessen or stop tooth grinding.
Symptoms of Grinding Your Teeth
The first sign that your baby may have bruxism is likely to be loud grinding at night or during naps. When your kid is awake during the day, you can also catch them grinding their teeth or making minor jaw movements. It can be challenging to know for sure.
Some widespread signs that your child may have bruxism include Loud clicking or grinding noises, particularly at night or during your child’s nap.
Regular jaw tightening or clenching movements.
Cold or hot food sensitivity in the teeth, which could make your child scream at mealtimes.
Issues Bruxism Can Lead To
It can be difficult for you to tell if your infant is bruxing when they are asleep. Your baby’s teeth can be examined by a paediatric dentist to look for any signs that bruxism might be taking place.
The following are some of the immediate effects of baby bruxism:
Headaches: Your infant may feel pain in or near the ear region.
Muscle aches: When you clench your jaw, pressure builds up inside your muscles, causing soreness and stiffness.
Tooth sensitivity: Grinding your teeth speeds up the deterioration of the enamel. Your child’s teeth may become more sensitive to both heat and cold as a result.
Your baby can have trouble eating meals without pain.
The following are some long-term consequences of baby bruxism:
Teeth that have been chipped are in danger of breaking if your child continues to clench and grind their teeth after wearing down the enamel.
Flattened teeth: The baby may eventually flatten a tooth from frequent grinding, which is another possible effect.
Temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMD): This condition makes it more difficult to chew or completely open the mouth because it causes jaw pain and stiffness. Long-term, frequent teeth grinding can cause TMD in children.
You’ll be relieved to learn that bruxism is not a significant source of worry. Children naturally outgrow teeth grinding, so while it’s better to discover it and take action early to avoid any tooth damage, the issue does not pose a serious health risk to your infant.
In most instances, formal therapy is not required, but you can soothe your baby into a more comfortable sleep by using a few calming strategies to stop infant tooth grinding.
To help your baby’s gums, give them a teething toy. Teethers come in a variety of materials, such as rubber, pliable wood, and calming ice patterns. Alternatively, you might work a little DIY magic with a cool, damp towel that your baby can gnaw on.
How Chronic Bruxism Is Treated
So, is it OK for your baby to grind their teeth? The best course of action may be to visit a paediatric dentist for treatment if your child grinds their teeth frequently. Although it is an extreme case, it is conceivable for an infant to acquire TMJ through repeated teeth grinding, and it does require therapy.
Other issues include cracked teeth, swollen gums, wounds, pain, soreness, earache, and temple headaches.
Your dentist will check the child’s teeth for wear patterns that are consistent with the diagnosis if you suspect persistent bruxism. An intense bruxism habit that develops as a result of jaw misalignment can cause unique wear patterns on the enamel.
A paediatrician can assist by adjusting the child’s current medications or prescribing medication to treat a condition if a pharmaceutical or medical issue is thought to be causing the child’s bruxism.
How to Prevent Teething Grinding in Children
Some infants can be unable to avoid bruxism. The good news is that bruxism typically isn’t harmful and will go away on its own. There is frequently no need to prevent babies from grinding their teeth with treatments like sleep guards, as many people do because they are young and continually developing.
Although it can be distressing to hear your child grind their teeth, you can rest assured that it is a common problem for developing babies and will subside as they erupt additional teeth. If you are worried, discuss your child’s bruxism with your paediatric dentist.
They can provide tailored guidance and make sure your baby’s teeth or jaw haven’t been harmed.
How to prevent children’s teeth from grinding
You might try giving your toddler or baby a teething toy to chew on if they are grinding their teeth as a result of teething. Chewing on objects helps because counterpressure lessens some of the agony associated with a tooth erupting. Give them a damp, ice-cold washcloth to chew on as a homemade teether. If you suspect older children’s teeth grinding is brought on by stress or worry, try finding the source of the issue. Teeth grinding can be stopped by addressing the source of the stress and exposing the person to alternative coping techniques.
If your child suffers from sleep bruxism that is harming their teeth or causing them pain in their jaw you can buy them a personalised nightguard. This mouthpiece lessens the force of teeth grinding, preventing temporomandibular joint and tooth damage (TMJ). If there is a connection between the teeth clenching or grinding and another sleep disorder, such as sleep apnea, that would probably need to be addressed as well.
Children typically outgrow teeth grinding, and it doesn’t cause any problems.