Bruxism

Tuesday, October 01, 2013

When you look in on your sleeping child, you want to hear the sounds of sweet dreams. But some parents hear the harsher sounds of grinding teeth, called bruxism, which is common in kids. Dr. Edward Hill discusses this condition in todays 60 Second Housecall.

Dr. Hill:

Bruxism is the medical term for the grinding of teeth or the clenching of jaws. Bruxism often occurs during deep sleep or while under stress.

No one knows why bruxism happens. But in some cases, kids may grind because the top and bottom teeth arent aligned properly. Others do it as a response to pain, such as an earache or teething. Stress may be another cause.

Many cases of bruxism go undetected with no adverse effects, while others cause headaches or earaches.

In some circumstances, grinding and clenching can wear down tooth enamel, chip teeth, increase temperature sensitivity, and cause severe facial pain and jaw problems.

Take your child to the dentist if you think he or she is grinding teeth. Your dentist 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. Your dentist may prescribe a special night guard for your child.

For North Mississippi Medical Center, Im Dr. Edward Hill.