As kids grow, so does their needs for full physical, social, mental, and emotional health care. With these essential growth factors, parents may often find all methods of maintaining their child’s teeth. Some adults use mouthguards to protect their teeth while sleeping. On the other hand, sports enthusiasts and athletes have a custom – fit mouthguard for protection against damage from an injury or accident. How does a toddler grinding teeth in sleep benefit from a nighttime guard? Can they wear dental appliances at an early age? A pediatric dentist’s perspective may clarify some of your questions to prevent dental problems for your child.
Is A Toddler Grinding Teeth In Sleep Common?
Why does a toddler grind their teeth while sleeping? Pediatric dentists say that a toddler grinding teeth in sleep is a common indicator that a new baby tooth will erupt in the gums. Moreover, the changes in a child’s body, including the growth of the lower jawbone muscle (masseter) and upper skull muscle (temporalis), may contribute to grinding teeth (bruxism). On the contrary, parents often skip dental hygiene for infants and toddlers, thinking that not having teeth prevents cavities and tooth decay. But, gum disease can start from bacteria and food debris stuck in the toddler’s mouth. So, to make your toddler’s bones strong and sturdy, a professional pediatric dentist’s visit can guide you.
How Can Parents Check If Their Toddler Grinds Their Teeth?
A parent who wants to prevent the complications of toddler grinding their teeth in sleep must know the symptoms of bruxism at an early age. Some children don’t show their anxiety, stress, or depression from school, bullying, or pressure from their peers. While these are psychological factors that mainly cause bruxism, you, as a parent, can prepare your children to stop clenching their jaw early.
Signs Of Bruxism For Babies And Children:
- Redness, Inflammation, Swelling Gums
Constant teeth grinding without correction from a dentistry expert may lead your toddlers to have red, swollen, and inflamed gums. These side effects may become a health risk for your children since the sensitive nerves in the soft tissues can make it bleed often. Bacteria buildup is faster for untreated wounds, cuts, and abscess in the root of the tooth.
- Chipped Or Cracked Tooth
Once your child already grows a set of teeth, you may see bits and pieces of the cracked or chipped tooth inside their mouth. Notably, a teething baby with the long – term habit of grinding or clenching may have abnormal oral health as they become preteens. Children that grind their teeth at night may have to rely on further dental solutions like braces later on when they are ready for this orthodontic procedure.
- Constant Irritability And Sleeplessness
Children often have irritability due to external factors like noise or light. But, if they experience pain from their sensitive teeth and gums, you may have to expect the worst. A toddler grinding teeth in sleep without immediate treatment for bruxism may have trouble sleeping. One of the apparent side effects for a toddler that grinds their teeth at night is the sound of teeth grinding (bruxism). It may not just become a problem for your toddler, but it can also cause irritability.
Side Effects Of Untreated Toddler Teeth Grinding In Sleep
What are the common side effects of teeth grinding? Apart from stress and anxiety – related causes of teeth grinding, you may find that dental diseases can also lead children to grind their teeth. Another common issue of bruxism is the issue of sleep apnea or an obstruction on the airway for breathing. While we sleep, muscles relax, and snoring occurs instantly. The downside of not having a solution as early as you can give is how it will affect their health in the future. Here are some side – effects that your children should avoid as much as they can.
Malocclusion For Teens
Most of the time, teeth aren’t symmetrical for kids at age six and beyond. Once permanent teeth show up at ages 16 to 20 years old, you may probably have malocclusion or crowded teeth. Additionally, an impacted wisdom tooth is always expected to have a painful extraction. So, for children with a habit of grinding due to crowded teeth, you have to rely on oral care services whenever their dentist tells them to. Ask a professional opinion on how to save your children’s oral health.
Improper Bite Leads To Malnutrition
Children that don’t have a way to solve grinding teeth may also experience medical health problems like malnutrition. Since difficulties in teeth grinding cause stress, restlessness, and sleeping disorders, some children often skip their meals due to fatigue or tiredness. Furthermore, some allergies, nutritional deficiencies, and organs’ problems can happen while children grow with this psychological concern. As a parent, it is best not just to focus on the physical aspect of your child’s development, but also their social and mental health care. You may have to work with your children and a professional child psychologist to determine why they skip their meals.
Constant Gum Problems May Cause Gum Disease
If you see your child’s gums bleeding at a random hour of the night, you may have to recheck if your hygiene routines are correct. Periodontal disease can also prevail for a child that loves eating sugars or foods rich in carbohydrates. If tooth clenching is diagnosed at an early age, you can prevent tooth decay or tooth loss. What does your pediatric dentist recommend for treatment? A periodontist may see if your child is suffering from early gingivitis or gum recession. An initial check-up with a pediatric dentist may assess your baby. If you know a clinic with this kind of specialist, schedule an appointment right away.