Bruxism in Children: Causes and Treatments


Bruxism, clenching and grinding can also be found in children and commonly occurs at night. It is common for parent to hear their children grinding their teeth while they sleep.


Causes of Bruxism in Children

Thre are various reasons why some children grind or clench their teeth which include but limited to:


  1. Enlarged Adenoids, Enlarged Tonsils, Sleep Apnea or Upper Airway Resistance Syndrome

Enlarged adenoids and tonsils can cause mouth breathing and a narrowing of the upper airway (nasopharynx). The narrowing of the upper airway region may lead to the child to be a mouth breather. When sleeping, the neck and tongue muscles will relax and airway will collapse. The collapse of the airway can trigger the lower jaw to move forward that will pull the tongue forward and open the airway. The forward movement of the jaw can cause the upper and lower teeth to grind.


  1. Improper Jaw alignment


  1. Improper Tooth Alignment



Pain – Some children will clench or grind their teeth when they feel pain. Grinding or clenching helps relieve some of the pain they may be feeling. Such pains can be caused by teething or an earache.



When to Worry about Bruxism in your Children

If your child starts to show the following symptoms, they should be seen by a dentist.

Trouble Sleeping

Jaw Pain and Soreness

Tooth Sensitivity

Signs of Wear on Teeth

Damage to the Gums

Loud Continual Grinding that Does not Go Away


All of these could be signs that your child’s teeth grinding is not normal.


Treatments of Bruxism in Children

There are some things you can do at home to help treat your child’s bruxism. Allowing your child to talk about his or her feelings or express themselves will help alleviate stress. Maintaining a proper diet and keeping them hydrated is also important.



If you feel that your child’s teeth grinding is getting out of hand, please do not hesitate to contact us for an appointment or advice.



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