For toddler and small children, bruxism can also be caused by stress such as sudden changes in the family. Keep in mind that your child may not have the words yet to express the feeling of being overwhelmed or confused.
If you suspect your little one’s tooth grinding has something to do with worries, try to speak with your child about those issues that may be bothering them. If your baby continues grinding their teeth throughout childhood, or develops pain or complications it is a good idea to check with your pediatrician or pediatric dentist to help find relief.
In many cases bruxism causes no ill effects; however, in some cases, prolonged nighttime grinding and clenching can wear down tooth enamel, chip teeth, increase temperature sensitivity, and cause severe facial pain and jaw problems, such as temporomandibular joint disease (TMJ).
In these cases working with your health care professional can help tremendously. Some signs to watch for:
❌ Grinding noises when your child is sleeping
❌ Complaints of a sore jaw or face after waking up in the morning
❌ Pain with chewing
If you think your child is grinding his or her teeth, visit the dentist, who will examine the teeth for chipped enamel and unusual wear and tear, and spray air and water on the teeth to check for unusual sensitivity. A custom night guard is usually prescribed to help alleviate tooth trauma.