There are habits and customs that, no matter how common they may become, can also pose quite a serious problem for the people who practice them. One such habit is bruxism , which is a totally unconscious habit of clenching your teeth . It’s not just clenching your teeth, it can also consist of grinding your teeth. The problem with bruxism (in addition to how unpleasant it sounds in itself) is that it can end up causing serious damage to the jaw of the person who suffers it, as well as discomfort in the head, all consequence of keeping the jaw in tension.
It is not an exclusive problem for adults, but children, even the smallest (from two or three years) can already suffer bruxism . And if in an adult the pains derived from clenching the teeth are annoying, imagine in children, who do not even finish understanding why that happens. As a general rule, children tend to grind or clench their teeth when they go to sleep. In dreams, without realizing it, they keep their jaw tense. In this way, the habit of sleeping ends up joining the habit of grinding the teeth, causing discomfort.
Bruxism usually occurs, especially in children who are between six and ten years old , just when the first milk teeth are falling . When sleeping, especially during the first hours of sleep, children clench their teeth without even realizing it; Unfortunately, the exact causes of bruxism are not known. There is no certain explanation as to why children clench their teeth, why they grind them.
DOES BRUXISM HAVE CAUSES?
As we have pointed out, bruxism, at least initially, has no direct causes . What it does have are triggers that can end up causing children to clench their teeth. According to some dentists, stress can lead to bruxism in children . We may think that stress is something unique to the adult world but, apparently, nothing could be further from the truth. Due to the amount of activities that are sent to them at school, the subject they have to study, the private classes and other activities they have in the afternoon, children have more and more time to rest and enjoy their free time . This is why some end up suffering from stress.
There are also those who have come to point out that headaches, earaches or the loss of milk teeth , can cause physical pain that causes the child to clench their teeth to try to avoid it. But neither this nor the fact that having intestinal parasites can be related to bruxism has been proven. With which, at first, we can only keep stress as a possible cause.
Bruxism can occur both during the day and at night , and we are talking about two totally different types of bruxism. The daytime is relatively easier to control by the little ones, as well as by their parents; by means of constant corrections by adults, and indicating to the child that he must be careful not to clench his teeth, it can be eliminated. However, nocturnal bruxism , that which occurs at the time of sleep, is much more complicated. It is totally unconscious, and appears only during the first hours of sleep, disappearing later.
PROBLEMS DERIVED FROM BRUXISM
As silly as it sounds, bruxism can cause a lot of discomfort in the long run . Not only does it wear down the teeth , making them worse and worse, but it also causes severe headaches and jaw pain in children.
BRUXISM CAUSES AN UNPLEASANT GRINDING NOISE
TREATMENTS FOR BRUXISM
If you see that your child has bruxism, the first thing you should do is see a doctor, so that he is the one who can advise you on where you should follow the treatment . The specialist may give you advice that we do not know how to give, for example. In any case, bruxism is not considered a disease , so there is no specific treatment, but rather some guidelines to follow to try to alleviate the behavior as much as possible.
The first, and fundamental, is to analyze the child’s environment . Are you in a completely protected environment, free from stress and anxiety? If the answer to this question is no, you already know where you should start to change things. It is essential that children feel completely protected and safe; your mental health is a guarantee of physical health .
Once you have analyzed your environment, and tried to make it as peaceful as possible, there are some tips that you can follow to try to avoid bruxism, especially that which occurs at sleep time. For example, you can drastically decrease your physical activity just before bed ; This way, you will go to sleep peacefully, and you won’t feel the need to grind your teeth to release your stress. You can, in turn, try relaxation techniques, such as a hot bath, or read any story. No letting him fall asleep while watching TV, or watching a movie. The artificial lights are not the most relaxing thing, it is not something you should see just before sleeping.
You can also try to prevent them from engaging in parafunctional behaviors , such as biting their nails, pinching or biting their lips, or biting pencils or other objects. This will only cause bruxism to increase. Do not worry: with time, this habit will surely disappear.