Should I be concerned about my child’s grinding teeth at night?

Nocturnal grinding (Bruxism) is a type of sleep disorder. Parents often notice it by either hearing the noise from the child’s grinding and / or noticing wear of the child’s teeth. Most recent studies showed that anxiety is a prominent factor in the development of bruxing behavior in children. Very few have to do with any bite problems seen in children. Although stresses due to a new environment, changes in school may be contributing to the grinding, no psychological interventions have been suggested in the literatures.

Most studies did not demonstrate bruxism in children causing long term harm to the jaw as seen in adults. In most cases children’s grinding does not require any treatment. If severe wear is present, or the child is experiencing jaw pain or tooth sensitivity, a night guard or other types of intervention may be indicated.