Your child may not be aware of grinding or clenching his or her teeth (bruxism). For many children, this happens during sleep. Even though children may be able to sleep through it, they may be grinding away parts of their teeth. If your child continues to wear away the teeth, her or she may break or loosen a tooth or filling or wear down the biting edges.
Causes of teeth grinding include stress, an abnormal bite, and crooked or missing teeth. Teeth grinding and clenching can cause pain and popping in the jaw joint. Other symptoms are earaches, headaches, and face pain.
Talk to your dentist. The dentist can determine what treatment is right for your child. In some cases, a mouth guard or mouth splint can help protect the teeth from further damage. If stress is a cause of grinding or clenching, your doctor may give you ideas on how you can help your child relax.
Follow-up care is a key part of your child's treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if your child is having problems. It's also a good idea to know your child's test results and keep a list of the medicines your child takes.
Watch closely for changes in your child's health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse call line if:
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Current as of: May 12, 2017
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
& Martin J. Gabica, MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine & Arden G. Christen, DDS, MSD, MA, FACD - Dentistry
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