Teeth grinding or Bruxism ( medical term for the grinding of teeth or the clenching of jaws) is very commonly seen in young children by parents.
Parent commonly attribute it to worms, which is wrong.
Two to three out of every 10 kids will grind or clench, experts say, but most outgrow it.
Causes of Bruxism
- Not clear completely
- as a response to pain, such as an earache or teething
- Stress (usually nervous tension or anger) is another cause. For eg. If arguing with siblings or parents can lead to this. Or some tension in school setting due to bullying or school test etc.
- Hyperactive child, other medical illness ( eg, Cerebral palsy etc)
- Comforting and supporting your child is needed as most of the kids outgrow this condition with passage of time.
- If needed visit to dentist can help just to rule out dental anomalies. In very severe case dentist might prescribe a night guard molded to child’s teeth.
- Relaxing before going to sleep help eg. Listening to music, reading a book , parents sleeping with kids in same room.
- Discuss with child what is upsetting him/her. Tell them everything is going to be alright. If the issue is more complicated, such as moving to a new town, discuss your child’s concerns and try to ease any fears. If you’re concerned, talk to your doctor.
- In severe cases it is always better to visit your child doctor for opinion.
- Childhood bruxism is usually outgrown by adolescence.
Dr Rahul varma