Fort Worth, Texas,
10
March
2015
|
03:53 PM
America/Chicago

Your child's teeth grinding

Complications from teeth grinding

You pick the most annoying noise in the world:

a) Nails on a chalk board.

b) 6 a.m. alarm clocks.

c) Your child’s teeth grinding.

Sorry that there’s no “all of the above.”

Around 25 percent of kids grind their teeth at some point. It most often occurs at night but can occur during the day (usually they are not conscious that they are doing it.) The most common ages are from 7-10 years and most grow out of it without any problems arising.

We don’t really know the cause of teeth grinding although it has been linked to stress and one study showed it to be more common in kids who talk in their sleep or wet the bed.

Most children do not have complications related to grinding their teeth. Some complications that have been reported are: jaw pain, headaches (more common in adults) and damage to teeth.

Treatment for teeth grinding can be very frustrating as there are no quick fixes. Since stress can be a related factor, try to have open dialogue with your children about factors that could be causing them stress. Mouth guards are not frequently used in children because they are not likely to help and making one to fit is difficult because children grow so quickly.

If the teeth grinding continues, talk with your pediatrician or dentist to see if there are new treatments available.

About the author

Justin Smith, M.D., is a Cook Children's pediatrician in Lewisville . View more from The Doc Smitty at his Facebook page. He attended University of Texas, Southwestern Medical School and did his pediatric training at Baylor College of Medicine. He joins Cook Children's after practicing in his hometown of Abilene for four years. He has a particular interest in development, behavior and care for children struggling with obesity. In his spare time, he enjoys playing with his 3 young children, exercising, reading and writing about parenting and pediatric health issues.

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