“Bruxism” is a condition that can threaten the health of your child’s teeth, as well as their quality of life and overall wellbeing. This chronic condition is characterised by teeth grinding and jaw clenching. It often occurs at night (“nocturnal bruxism”) while your child is relaxed and sleeping. Since teeth grinding frequently arises when a patient is at rest, the force placed on a child’s teeth and interconnected oral structures can be considerable. To resolve the condition (and prevent damage caused by it) requires Dr. Mona Houshiar of Mona Dental for Kids in Spring, Texas, to identify the root causes of bruxism. The more we know about the condition as it presents in your child, the better informed our treatment plans. An accurate understanding of oral conditions then informs effective treatments.
Often, patients and their caregivers are not aware that teeth grinding is a problem until they visit our practice. Dr. Houshiar gently and skillfully detects potential signs of bruxism during regular dental appointments or check-ups. Consequences of chronic teeth grinding may include:
The last six symptoms listed above are also commonly associated with temporomandibular joint dysfunction (TMJD). The act of habitually forcefully grinding the teeth and clenching the jaws may place excessive pressure on the TMJs on either side of your child’s face. When this occurs, it can stress the joints and the tissues and structures connected to them. This situation gives disordered function and many common complaints that interfere with a child’s day-to-day life.
Bruxism may be “idiopathic” (no known cause), or it has been linked to increased stress levels and anxiety; for instance, your child may brux or brux more severely as big exams approach, or due to life changes (such as new schools). Additionally, bruxism may be due to imbalances that arise when teeth are not aligned properly (or “poor bite’). Bruxism can be secondary to other conditions, including sleep-related disorders, ADHD, and night terrors.
To resolve the behavior, protect the appearance and health of the teeth, and restore children’s wellbeing, Dr. Houshiar works with respective family physicians and pediatricians. Together, this medical team develops a treatment plan that effectively addresses the underlying cause. Treatments are as varied as the potential causes responsible for bruxism and may include everything from orthodontic treatment and customized oral appliances to reposition the jaws and protect tissues from damage to relaxation exercises and stress management techniques.
Your child’s optimal health and healthiest smile await at Mona Dental for Kids. Call (832) 662-3008 to schedule an appointment with our team in Spring, which proudly serves the needs of children from throughout the area – including Tomball, Woodland, Champions, and Conroe.