Most of the time parents are happy just to get their kids to fall asleep, but have you ever noticed your child grinding their teeth? Teeth grinding, commonly known as “bruxism” is a problem that can lead to dental complications in adults. Bruxism is characterised by clenching and grinding of the teeth. But, is it bad for babies and children to be grinding their teeth?
What are the causes of teeth grinding?
While there is no hard evidence about the cause of babies grinding their teeth, the majority of experts believe that they do this to soothe sore gums during teething. Additionally, some think that your little ones are simply testing out their new smile to get used to the feeling of their teeth.
Teeth grinding in children can often be linked to other causes and in some instances, grinding can also relate to airway and breathing problems. In some cases, grinding may be temporary or may come and go. With persistent teeth grinding, the enamel surfaces of the teeth can wear down and cause sensitivity.
Evidence shows that teeth grinding in children can be related to one or a combination of the following problems:
- central (neuropathic disorder, anxiety)
- genetic and local (posture, mouth breathing).
It is common for children to grind their teeth when they are stressed or anxious, which can occur while the child is asleep or awake. There has been a positive correlation between children who have sleep-disordered breathing patterns (e.g frequent mouth breathing and snoring during sleep) and teeth grinding at night.