Bruxism in Children – Bruxism Is Killing the Smile of Your Children!

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Bruxism is the medical term for teeth clening and grinding. It occurs during the lighter stages of sleep or when in stress. The condition is quite common in children, accounting the reason for the child's teeth and jaw development. According to statistics, three out of ten children have this symptoms. Most outgrow the condition while some continue to exhibit some symptoms.

There are numerous studies done but only circumstantial causes are found. One cause in children is the alignment of the upper and lower teeth. Children with abnormal teeth alignment are most likely to grind their teeth. Teething and earache are another possible causes of bruxism in children as children clench and grind their teeth as response to the pain.

Children also experience stress and frustration, which are the major studied causes of bruxism even in adults. Many children, and adults, clench their teeth to control anger or frustration. Aggressive children may clench their teeth unconsciously while venting their anger on someone or something. Conditions like cerebral palsy can trigger teeth grinding or clenching as well.

Effects of Bruxism in Children

Many parents disregard the symptoms thinking that their children will outgrow the condition. While this is true in some kids, others do not recover naturally from the condition.

Children's teeth are more likely to wear compared to the stronger and more developed teeth of adults. Frequent bruxism in children can chip teeth, wear down the tooth enamel, cause TMJ or temporomandibular joint, cause clicking jaws, and facial pain. TMJ is the result of long-term and regular teeth clenching and grinding.

How to Diagnose

Aside from the grinding sound, this problem can be diagnosed in several ways. Earaches and headaches are common symptoms, especially if the signs occur when the child wakes from sleep. Pain in the jaw or while chewing is another sign of teeth grinding.

Since bruxism is a medical and dental condition, you should first consult with a GP to diagnose the condition and discover the root of teeth grinding. If symptoms occur because of stress or other psychological factors, the GP can recommend physical therapy, massage, or counseling to relate the child's stress. If the symptoms are caused by abnormal alignment of teeth, TMJ, or other oral health problems, you should consult with a dentist where he can recommend jaw exercises, mouth guard, or check for the teeth for sensitivity.

Parents can also help relieve their child's stress by reading stories before their kids go to sleep, doing stress-relieving activities, letting them take a warm and relaxing bath, or letting their kids listen to soothing music to help relax their muscles and ease stress.

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Source by Jolin Choy

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