Teeth grinding is called Bruxism in dentistry. Fillings or other dental work is usually blamed to be the creator of such abnormal teeth grinding but let me show you why this is not so true. If you think grinding happens only at night, check if your teeth are touching each other right now as you read this. If they are you’re a clencher and surely have hypertrophied or over worked facial muscles.
Worms in the tummy are the favourite known cause of kids grinding their teeth. Though research is yet to have their word out on this one, I am of the opinion that any sort of physiological shift in the body can change normal behaviours like breathing patterns, wakeful rest postures and even sleep patterns. This will cause “stress” on the child’s body and can result in them grinding their teeth in their sleep.
Teething is another physiological process, which causes your lil one to undergo “pain” and “irritation”, and can cause them to grind their teeth during the day and even in their sleep.One of the most commonly missed diagnosis for teeth grinding stands to be poor tongue mobility, enlarged tonsils and adenoids, mouth breathing or dysfunctional breathing habits.
When we move towards deeper stages of sleep, our muscles relax. Any kind of resistance in breathing either due to the neck muscles, or the tongue falling back or obstructions due to enlarged tissues signals the brain. The brain then responds by sending signals to the body to slide the jaw forward or extend the neck, thus opening the airway to allow air into the body. Unfortunately, this protrusive sliding of the lower jaw against the upper jaw causes abrasive grinding of tooth surfaces. Breathing related teeth grinding can lead to loss of tooth structure, cracks in teeth, mobility of teeth, Jaw joint pain and bone reduction, and early tooth loss.
Teeth grinding can also be caused during anxiety filled phases in a child's life. When you and I are stressed don't we loose sleep? Children also tend to silently loose their reparative sleep when they grind their teeth.
Getting a holistic evaluation for your child will help you understand why teeth grinding is happening and how it can be prevented.
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