What Is That Noise?

Does rasping or crunching noise coming from your child’s bedroom while he/she is sleeping bother you? Well, bruxism is the medical term for the grinding of teeth or clenching of the jaws during deep sleep or under stress.

Some children may grind their teeth because the bottom and top teeth are not properly aligned. Others may find grinding their teeth as pain relief for teething or during menarche. However, stress appears to be the top reason for bruxism. If your child is nervous about a school test or experiencing family difficulties, they are more likely to experience bruxism. If you discover your child has bruxism, a visit to their dentist is recommended. The dentist can examine your child’s teeth for any chipped enamel, misaligned teeth, unusual wear, sensitivity, and any possible psychological factors contributing to the behavior. Similar to a mouthguard worn by athletes, a night guard is advocated in cases when your child’s teeth are being damaged or their face or jaw is sore. These are molded to the child’s teeth and worn at bedtime. Most children overcome their bruxism by adolescence. Therefore, if you take the appropriate steps, your child will also outgrow their bruxism. Nevertheless, some children do not outgrow bruxism and remain “bruxers” as adults.