On occasion, we get contacted by parents who are concerned that their children have been grinding their teeth in their sleep. This is something that occurs in approximately 33% of children during their sleep, but 8% of adults also suffer from this condition. Known as bruxism, tooth grinding typically begins when a child first begins to get their teeth, and then again when their permanent teeth begin to arrive. In adults stress and anxiety tend to be major contributors. Bruxism tends to pass in time, but there are some things that should be considered.
Causes Of Bruxism
It’s not entirely clear what causes bruxism, but oral discomfort caused by shifting and realigning teeth are known causes of temporary bruxism, with allergies and other illnesses being known to play a role as well. Issues that cause inner ear pressure to change, such as during a flight, have also been indicated. Persistent bruxism can be a serious concern and can result from fear, anxiety, and stress. While it tends to pass in time, paying attention to your overall health as well as the severity of the condition will determine if intervention is required.
Should I Be Concerned About Bruxism?
As mentioned previously, bruxism is fairly common and generally not a major concern as your child will likely grow out of it, though adults may have ongoing issues. If you have any concerns, please feel free to contact the office of April J. Toyer, DDS, your dentist in Woodbridge or Prince William County, VA. Symptoms that indicate that your teeth may require further attention are as follows:
- Sleep issues including frequent waking or difficulty falling asleep.
- Sore jaws or jaw pain
- Recurring headaches
- Pain or sensitivity in the teeth not caused by other dental issues.
- Flattening of the teeth or other indicators of wear
- Soft tissue damage in the oral cavity
- Audible, ongoing grinding that doesn’t pass with time.
What Can I Do To Ease Minor Bruxism?
If the above symptoms are absent, there are steps you can take to ease your bruxism. The following may help to reduce incidences of teeth grinding:
- Identify your source of stress and work to reduce it.
- Ensure you have a proper diet.
- Dehydration is known to aggravate bruxism, ensure you’re getting enough water.
When Should I Contact My Dentist About Bruxism?
As with any dental concerns, it’s appropriate to contact your dentist as soon as you are aware its an issue. While initially there may not be a medical treatment attempted to aid in easing the bruxism, it helps to make sure your dental professional is aware of the condition and your concerns surrounding it. April Toyer has a long history of providing a comforting experience for her patients, with a focus on total dental care and a family touch. If you’re looking for a dentist in Woodbridge or Prince William County, VA, give our office a call today and set up a consultation for all of your dental concerns.