Heaven help me! I shared a room with my five-year-old last night while visiting at my mom’s and it seemed like she was grinding her teeth all night! I tried waking her, but even doing so, she continued to grind. Do I need to get her into an emergency dentist before we go home to get her to stop? It sounds so terrible. Is she ruining her teeth?
While teeth grinding, or bruxism, is not comfortable to listen to, it is a very common occurrence in children. It is particularly common during children’s deep sleep cycles.
As terrible as it sounds, bruxism isn’t something you need to make a special trip to an emergency dentist about. You will want to make your child’s dentist aware of your findings. Some children exhibit bruxism when under stress, have struggles with allergies or medication side effects, or even when their permanent teeth are preparing to replace baby teeth. There are many possible causes for bruxism. Your dentist may be able to help you understand why your child is grinding her teeth.
Most children grow out of their teeth grinding on their own, without any intervention. Be aware of any signs that your daughter is experiencing pain from grinding her teeth. Some children will get headaches, pain in their jaw or in their ear as a result of bruxism. Being five, your daughter may be able to tell of any discomfort she is feeling as a result of her grinding. In many cases, children don’t even know they are grinding their teeth at night.
If your daughter continues to grind her teeth, it could eventually wear down the enamel on her teeth or cause a chipped tooth. If her dentist feels she needs it, she could get a mouth guard to wear at night to protect her teeth.
This post is sponsored by Generations Dental Care of Enfield, Connecticut.