Sweet Tooth Orthodontics and Children's Dentistry

Dentists & Orthodontists located in Rancho Cucamonga, CA

Bruxism is the technical term for teeth grinding or clenching, a behavior that can cause considerable damage to your child’s teeth if left unchecked. At Sweet Tooth Children’s Dentistry in Rancho Cucamonga, California, Dr. Julia Brown has extensive experience in treating young patients who grind their teeth, preventing more serious issues down the road. To learn how you can prevent the damaging effects of bruxism, call or go online to book an appointment.

Bruxism Q & A

What is bruxism?

Bruxism is the term used to describe teeth grinding or clenching, an often unconscious habit that typically occurs when your child sleeps, though your child may exhibit the behavior while they are awake. Bruxism is fairly common, affecting approximately 30-40 million children and adults in the U.S.

The causes of bruxism usually include:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Frustration
  • Malocclusion — when your child’s teeth and jaw don’t line up properly

In rare cases, if your child is taking certain medications for depression, bruxism is a potential side effect.

What are the symptoms of bruxism?

Since your child may only gnash their teeth at night, bruxism can be hard to pin down. There are, however, common symptoms that point toward the behavior, such as:

  • A sore jaw in the morning
  • Facial pain
  • Popping or clicking in your child’s temporomandibular joint (TMJ)
  • Damage to the teeth
  • Headaches

If your child displays the behavior during the day, it’s easier to spot since you’ll readily notice your child’s teeth clenching.

As well, Dr. Brown and her staff are highly trained to spot any evidence of bruxism during your child’s regular visits to Sweet Tooth Children’s Dentistry.

How does bruxism damage teeth?

Bruxism is a significant dental concern because of its impact on your child’s developing teeth. Bruxism causes:

  • Excessive surface wear
  • Broken teeth
  • Loose fillings
  • Injured gums

Seeking Dr. Brown’s help as soon you notice the problem can save a lot of time and trouble in the future.

How is bruxism treated?

To treat bruxism, Dr. Brown addresses the immediate impacts the behavior has on your child’s teeth by:

  • Providing a mouthguard at night
  • Correcting alignment issues
  • Correcting the damage inflicted by the grinding through fillings and crowns
  • Recommending relaxation exercises for your child’s jaw muscles

If your child’s bruxism is related to stress or relaxation, Dr. Brown advises seeking outside help to address stress reduction through relaxation techniques and therapy.

To stop bruxism from destroying your child’s teeth, call Sweet Tooth Children’s Dentistry, or schedule a visit using the online booking tool.