Chronic stress and certain other conditions can cause children to unconsciously clench and grind their teeth while sleeping. While it might at first seem to be little more than a nuisance that causes sore jaw muscles, unaddressed night grinding can lead to a wide range of oral health complications.
Over time the intense clenching and grinding forces exerted on their teeth and the structures of their temporomandibular joints can lead to multiple chipped or fractured teeth. Once an area of tooth enamel has been damaged the affected tooth could suffer from tooth decay and tooth sensitivity.
At the same time the stress on the muscles, ligaments and other structures of your temporomandibular joints, which can lead to the chronic discomfort of TMJ disorder. Early symptoms that this has started to develop could include a persistent ache around the temples and in the jaw muscles, as well as discomfort when biting down.
Many children struggling to deal with chronic night grinding might be able to mitigate these issues by using a dental guard when sleeping. The soft plastic material can help buffer the relationship between both sets of teeth to minimize direct force on tooth enamel and reduce stress on the temporomandibular joints.
If your child isn’t comfortable with the dental guards sold in stores our dentists can provide them with a custom dental guard. Drs. Morgan, Allman, or Compton will design the removable oral appliance to closely match the contours of your child’s teeth and the curvature of their bite pattern.
If you live in Rockwall and Heath, Texas, area and your child has been grinding their teeth on a frequent basis, we invite you to call 972-771-9933 to schedule an appointment at Rockwall Pediatric Dentistry. We look forward to treating your child’s developing smile with the care they deserve!