What are the causes and remedies, if your toddler is grinding his teeth in sleep?
Have you ever noticed that your toddler grinds his or her teeth in sleep? Does she have a habit of doing so? Sometimes you might just pop back in the room to check on your baby and might discover her gnawing her teeth while she dozes off. This condition is termed as sleep-related bruxism.
The sound is a result of pressing the upper and lower jaw against each other. During this process, the jaw contracts and a sound is produced depending on the intensity of said contractions. Most kids experience this when they’re asleep, but it is likely to occur when they’re awake either, especially if they are under stress.
You might have experienced this yourself when you’re nervous or stressed. Teeth grinding is mostly a symptom of anxiety among older kids. This condition is common in toddlers. The extent to which they grind their teeth differs from baby to baby. You might hear some kids making these movements all night whereas some may just make them a couple of times.
It happens unconsciously however it may disturb the baby’s sleep. The causes of bruxism are unknown. Some doctors believe that multiple factors are responsible for children grinding their teeth.
Bruxism can be a consequence of pain felt because of ear infections. When kids first start getting teeth, they experience some kind of pain and to relieve this pain they grind their teeth.
Sometimes their upper and lower teeth are not oriented properly as they are flatter when compared to permanent teeth. So, to cope with these differences, kids grind their teeth.
As a parent, it’s normal to worry and speculate if there is a more serious cause behind bruxism. Sometimes parents think that their child is having nightmares which are false. As children grow older, their baby teeth fall off and permanent teeth pop up in its place. When their teeth align properly, kids usually drop the habit of grinding their teeth.
Teeth grinding is a harmless habit, and in most cases, it does not have any long-term repercussions. If you’re distressed about your toddler’s teeth remember that these teeth are temporary. There’s nothing much you can do to stop the same. You are likely to suffer more than your baby, thanks to the grinding sounds. If the sound disturbs your sleeping schedule see if there is anything you can do to lower the noise.
However, if you’re worried about your baby then take him to a dentist to ease your concern. Not only can he determine causes but also suggest the best possible solutions to deal with the situation.
Keep a close eye on your child’s sleeping patterns. Is she able to get enough sleep? Is the bruxism disturbing her sleeping pattern? Are her teeth suddenly sensitive to food? Does she look like she is in pain after waking up? Does she wake up more frequently than what is normal for her? Sometimes teeth grinding could be a result of another medical condition and in this case, only a professional can help you solve this mystery.
Usually, there is no specific remedy or treatment for bruxism. In special cases when there is damage to the teeth, doctors may recommend a mouth guard for your baby for nap times. Again, it all depends on how willing your toddler, is to wear the mouth guard.
Teeth Grinding is not uncommon in toddlers and they let go of this habit once their permanent teeth appear. If you believe that there is another underlying cause for such behaviour, then visit a professional. It is not required in most cases, but if the grinding is accompanied by fevers, jaw pains, sensitivity in teeth, disturbances in sleeping patterns then it is advisable to go to the doctor.
• Bruxism is a phenomenon in which toddlers grind their teeth in their sleep. Generally, they do not even realize that they are doing it in their sleep. However, this can disturb people sleeping in the same room because of the sounds created by babies.
• Teeth Grinding while sleeping is normal for toddlers. The exact reasons are unknown however it may occur when your upper and lower teeth are not aligned properly or if your baby is suffering from an ear infection.
• While some toddlers sleep through this phenomenon, others may be restless. They may have disturbed sleeping patterns which can affect their health.
• In most cases, bruxism is harmless, however, if you believe that your toddler’s case is severe then visit a professional. If needed, doctors may authorize you to use a customized mouth guard.