Have you noticed your little one is grinding their teeth a little too often nowadays? Do they do that even when they are sleeping? While grinding teeth sometimes is completely okay, but if your toddler is grinding their teeth quite often, even when they are sleeping, then there might be reasons behind it you need to know.
According to the results, 36.8 percent of pre-schoolers were reported to grind their teeth one or more times per week, and 6.7 percent reported this behavior four or more times per week. Stress could be a huge reason behind your little one grinding their teeth, without them even knowing. Just as adults might have noticed things they do when stressed, stress could affect your child too!
While stress is just one of the reasons, others could be as your little one has started teething, they might be experiencing difficulties due to the process. So, let’s take a look at this article and explore together all the reasons why your baby is grinding their teeth and what possible things you can do to free them of this habit.
Reasons Why Your Baby is Grinding Their Teeth
Let’s start with the most underrated issue on our hands, stress. As an adult, you can understand if someone you know is facing stress, or you might experience things you tend to do while you are stressed, like tapping your foot or sweaty palms. What about your little one? Could they also have some kind of stress?
According to medical experts, 20 to 30 percent of children grind their teeth or clench their jaw, often during sleep or as a reaction to stress. Stress could stem in your little one from any changes they might not like or if they are nervous about a significant change like the first day of school.
Bruxism is a medical condition where your child might be regularly grinding their teeth. It can happen during the day or at night. And during sleeping hours, if it’s happening, then it’s called sleep Bruxism.
Your baby suffering from this might show symptoms like grinding their teeth, clenching their jaw, damaged teeth, and pain in jaw or soreness, headache in the temple. These are all symptoms of excessive grinding of teeth regularly. The causes of Bruxism might be as simple as suffering from the teething process.
While some babies go through the teething process without any problems, other babies are in a lot of pain during teething. They tend to grind their teeth, but it goes away as they enter their teenage years. If it’s excessive, you should definitely see your doctor.
Another possible reason that you could be ignoring is that grinding teeth could a sign of autism too. Children with autism tend to repeat motor activities over and over again. Other symptoms could be that they rock their body or their head again and again.
It is advisable that if you notice early signs of autism, you should see your doctor as recognizing early symptoms has reasonable recovery rates.
When your baby has started teething, some problems could lead to them grinding their teeth. It could be because of irritation in their gums. If their upper and lower teeth grow at a different rate, their teeth might not be aligned. This could also be another issue of why they must be grinding their teeth.
If you notice that your little one is grinding their teeth, then another hidden reason could be that they have an ear infection. It happens a lot that an ear infection goes unnoticed and then develops into something severe.
Since your baby can’t speak well enough yet to tell you the irritation or pain they feel in their ear, they might show it in other ways. They could either point towards their ear a lot, or grinding their teeth is another reaction they might be having. In some way, grinding can feel better, so they might be doing it to get some relief.
Tips to Prevent Your Baby from Grinding Their Teeth
There are some things you can do to prevent your little one from grinding their teeth. While going to a doctor is advised if it has become a severe habit of your baby to grind their teeth and seek advice to make it go away. If it’s still a mild condition, you can do a few things to help your child stop grinding their teeth.
- If it is because of the painful teething process that they are grinding their teeth, you should invest some teeth bitters. There are a whole lot of different things available both online and offline. You can do your research and find something suitable for your little one to soothe their pain and over time, they could stop grinding their teeth completely.
- As stress could be one of the reasons why your baby is grinding their teeth unknowingly, you could, as a parent, try to ease them into situations they are stressed about. Sometimes creating a happy environment in what your baby might fear is an excellent idea. They could be unknowingly stressed about a significant change happening, or if you are transitioning them from one habit to another, that could also be a stress for them. Try to ease your little one into things slowly, and maybe you could make a game out of some changes.
- If you detect their teeth grinding as an early sign of autism, you can try to get an occupational therapist who can work with them to get a sensory diet.
When to go to a doctor?
Sometimes the problem is mild enough that you can take care of it by doing some simple things at home. But there are times when things get severe either you didn’t pay enough attention to it, or it rapidly became worse. So if you notice that your baby is grinding and it has got to a point where you can do nothing about it, and their teeth are getting worn out too, you should definitely visit the doctor.
Delaying any condition you can see is only getting worse day by day is not a good idea. If not the problems mentioned above, there could be other issues you cannot pin point that might be the reason for teeth grinding. Professional help is the only way to go under these circumstances.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why do worms cause teeth grinding?
When worms like tapeworm, pinworms enter the digestive system, they release toxins, which affects the body and causes Bruxism, where your little one might start grinding their teeth daily. It is quite common but easy to make it go away with the proper consultation from your doctor.
Is Bruxism hereditary?
Dentists have found out that yes, in fact, Bruxism runs in families. It could be that if you or your partner or someone in your family have it, then your kid might have it too.
Can Vitamin D deficiency cause teeth to grind?
Yes, deficiency of vitamin D can also cause teeth grinding in babies and toddlers. You can found out if there is a deficiency from a visit to your doctor.
Do pacifiers cause teeth grinding?
Long term use of pacifiers can cause alignment issues with upper and lower teeth in your baby. It also causes overbite in many babies. So babies tend to grind their teeth when their alignment is not proper. Also leading to the necessity of braces when growing up.
As discussed in this article, there could be several reasons that you can detect that might be causing this habit of teeth grinding in your little one. You need to identify the problem and try to use tips and methods to make this habit go away. If it’s still a mild condition, you can take care of it by yourself, but if it’s anything major, then you need to take your baby to a doctor.
Mostly kids develop these teeth grinding habits due to the painful teething process, which then quickly goes away. But if you see that this is becoming too common and you see them grinding their teeth during the day and night time, you should definitely seek professional help. This causes harm to teeth again as they become brittle or worn out. Apart from this, there is a headache and soreness in the jaw too.
You can get it under control quickly and easily, and hopefully, this article helped you answer some questions of yours!