As a parent, it is easy to find that your baby may be getting used to the feeling of clenching their little teeth. It is common that the teeth grinding happens among babies who just have their first or second teeth, almost beginning at about six months old.
Bruxism is the word used for teeth grinding or clenching, and the noise made by a child grinding their teeth can be unnerving, to say the least as it can be surprisingly loud. So is this habit severe and if so how can it be treated?
A Common Childhood Habit
Bruxism is a surprisingly common childhood habit, particularly amongst children under the age of 11. In fact, bruxism is so widespread amongst children that it’s largely considered to be normal behaviour and will only become a problem if it causes trouble sleeping, pain or considerable tooth wear and tear. If things get to this stage, then there are various ways it can be treated although it can be tricky to decide exactly when and how to treat this condition. Besides, the reasons why some children develop bruxism isn’t yet fully understood although it’s thought stress could play a part as this is undoubtedly the case for adult bruxism.
Quite often children are susceptible towards developing some subconscious habits such as biting or chewing on their nails or biting the inside of their cheeks or sucking fingers or thumbs. Bruxism can manifest itself when a child is trying to concentrate or is in a stressful situation. If bruxism occurs while the child is awake, it may be possible to stop this habit or to modify it, but it can be less easy to stop bruxism that occurs during sleep.
Bruxism can start as early as age 1 and may develop soon after the front teeth begin to erupt. This habit is also more likely to be found in children who breathe through their mouth or who snore. There is a theory that there is a connection between upper airway obstruction or sleep apnea, and bruxism during sleep, and teeth grinding has also been linked to enlarged tonsils, another condition that is linked to upper airway obstruction or sleep apnea.
Some medications are also thought to contribute to tooth grinding habits. Factors associated with teenage bruxism include smoking, alcohol, using medications or illicit drugs and trauma and disease.
It is very likely that your lovely baby will outgrow the habit very soon and will not do any damage to his teeth. But it is essential to mention to his dentist the grinding teeth problem about your child, so the doctor can check his teeth and examine the resulting issues.
But if the condition expands the infection to the ears or other places, you should go to a dental clinic for kids and find the proper medical prescription to ease the discomfort such as acetaminophen or ibuprofen.
The teeth grinding may shorten the baby’s face. And the dental filling material can be added to the loss of the teeth caused by grinding teeth to restore the missing height.
In general, most children will outgrow this habit, so treatment isn’t normally recommended. However, a Kids dentistry center will suggest treatment if bruxism is causing excessive tooth wear or other unpleasant symptoms. Other symptoms associated with bruxism can include jaw pain, headaches or an earache