Does Your Child Gring Their Teeth At Night? The Hidden Dangers

If your child is grinding their teeth throughout the night and you feel they aren't getting a good night's rest, the problem could be their oral health. They could have an oral health condition called temporal mandibular disorder, and the sooner you get treatment for the problem the better.

This is a condition where the jaw bones don't line up correctly, which causes the teeth to wear and grind together. Here are a few reasons you want to get to the dentist right away, to see if your child needs help.

Grinding Causes Tooth Damage and Cavities

Grinding the teeth together takes the enamel off the tooth, which will expose the teeth to bacteria, sugar, and starches that cause cavities. The grinding also causes pain which can make it difficult to eat and talk, and may cause discomfort throughout the night which prevents the child from getting a good night of rest. Your child could even crack, break or shatter a tooth.

Long Term Problems Result Without Treatment

If the problem isn't treated the child could develop arthritis in the jaw joint, they adult teeth could come in crooked, or the child could develop a crossbite, overbite, or underbite. All of these will have to be fixed later on with orthodontic treatment, but may be less problematic if you get the issues resolved at an earlier age.

Prevent Discomfort

Not only is the child going to have obvious pain in the mouth and jaw from the grinding, but they could also have headache, neck and facial pain, and even a post nasal drip. Your child may have sensitive teeth, which makes it difficult or painful to eat the foods that they enjoy most, like ice cream or a hot bowl of soup, or they may shy away from hard or chewy foods because it's too painful.

If you can hear your child grinding their teeth throughout the night and they haven't seen a dentist or you haven't mentioned it to their dentist, you'll want to make an appointment right away. Your child could be doing damage to their smile and the dentist may want them to wear a guard at night, or they may want your child to see an orthodontic professional to treat the problem. The grinding could be a sign of a much larger oral health concern that is causing your child a lot of pain and inconvenience.