Teeth grinding is more than just an annoying habit, and can have very painful health consequences for both children and adults. We have parents coming in all the time asking about teeth grinding in their children, which is no surprise because nearly 30% of children may suffer from bruxism at some point. This common problem can be solved with the help of an experienced TMJ and general dentist like Dr. Mike Deldar.
Left untreated, however, teeth grinding can cause damage to tooth enamel, painful headaches, and even a painful joint disorder in the jaw called temporomandibular joint disorder (TMD). By consulting with our TMJ specialist, Dr. Mike Deldar, as soon as possible, parents can help prevent their children from suffering the pain or long-term problems associated with teeth grinding.
What is teeth grinding, and why is it harmful?
Teeth grinding is a common condition that is also called bruxism. Basically, a child clenches the jaw repeatedly and scrapes the top and bottom teeth together. This can be caused by a problem with the alignment of a child’s teeth, but it can also be caused by anger, stress, and tension. In some cases, illnesses such as colds or ear infections can also cause grinding.
It usually occurs when children are sleeping, and can often be heard by the people around them as an irritating scraping, grinding, or creaking sound. Many parents first notice teeth grinding because of the sound it produces. Some parents realize there is a problem when their child starts complaining of pain. A few of the painful signs that there may be a problem with bruxism include:
- headaches in the morning
- a sore jaw
- sore teeth
- pain in the face
- pain while chewing
These pains can range in severity from potentially mild TMJ headaches and soreness to TMJ migraines and jaw pain that makes it difficult to complete daily functions. The sooner a parent takes their child into a TMJ dentist, the sooner this pain can be stopped so the child can sleep, eat, and smile in comfort again.
For some parents and children, the problem goes unnoticed until a dentist visit reveals signs of grinding damage in the child’s mouth. Bruxism can cause cracks, fractures, loose teeth, and eroding tooth enamel. Eroded enamel can cause sensitivity in a child’s teeth that makes hot and cold food or drink very uncomfortable or painful.
How can a TMJ specialist help treat teeth grinding?
Over time, bruxism can also cause a disorder in the jaw called TMD, characterized by pain and clicking when the jaw moves. This can also make it difficult to open or close the jaw, turning everyday tasks like eating, talking, and even smiling into painful ordeals. TMD and other grinding damage can often be prevented by consulting a TMJ specialist like Dr. Deldar immediately for diagnosis and treatment.
Dr. Deldar may recommend a mouth guard to prevent a child’s top and bottom teeth from making contact with each other during the night. Oral health experts find this to be a very effective method for preventing pain and damage caused by teeth grinding. Not only can this help prevent the wear and tear on the tooth enamel, but it can also relieve the pressure placed on the teeth and jaw due to clenching. Dr. Deldar will make impressions of the child’s teeth and make a fitted mouth guard or oral orthotic for the child to sleep in each night.
Additionally, Dr. Deldar may recommend some home remedies to try to relieve anxiety or stress that causes bruxism. This may include talking to the child about what is bothering them, or developing a bedtime ritual such as a warm bath, reading, or soft music that soothes and relaxes away the stress that may cause grinding.
Make an appointment for your child with a Noblesville TMJ dentist today
Teeth grinding is a common problem in children, but it can cause severe pain and damage to the teeth and jaw if it goes untreated. The best way to prevent complications caused by teeth grinding is to consult with a TMJ specialist like Dr. Deldar today. Our premier dental office is a popular solution for parents seeking a Noblesville dentist because we have a great reputation for quickly and effectively identifying and solving problems like teeth grinding.
Delay in diagnosing and treating bruxism can lead to long term problems for your child that can include tooth damage or loss, jaw discomfort, or even a lifetime of jaw problems caused by TMJ. Make an appointment for your child at Deldar Dental right away and we will help you protect your child from the pain and damage caused by teeth grinding.