Bruxism in Children
Parents may report their children grinding their teeth during sleep. It may also happen during the day. It is known that children may grind their teeth while they begin teething. While children may do this unknowingly, it may still result in erosion in their temporary and permanent teeth. For this reason, it must be treated when first observed, without letting it advance, which may cause permanent damage to the teeth and joints in children.
Treatment methods for Bruxism
• Treatment for children begin with simple examination, the dental specialist tries to determine with how much strength and for how long the child is grinding the teeth. During the treatment, any erosion that occurred on the teeth is treated, the alignment and location of each teeth is examined and checked to see if the jaw closes properly. If teeth shape and location is not the cause, then systemic causes such as intestinal parasites are checked for.
• Night guards, a type of bite splint is recommended for treatment of bruxism for adults. This night guard, made out of soft material that takes shape of the teeth, prevents teeth from contacting while grinding and prevents erosion. Additional treatment options may be considered in collaboration with Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeons and physiotherapists.
• Undiagnosed or untreated bruxism may advance and may cause damage to jaw joints which may necessitate surgical operations.
• For stress related causes, treatment of bruxism usually relies on muscle relaxing drugs and a coordinated psychological support.
What may be the results of untreated Bruxism?
Teeth grinding and jaw clenching treatment is relatively easy. However, if left untreated, the following complications may occur.
• fracture, erosion or deformation of teeth
• receding gum tissue
• bone thinning around teeth roots
• if left untreated for long enough, may result with unavoidable muscle pain around jaw and mouth muscles.
• jaw locks
• inability to open the mouth