Dental Tips Blog


Why is My Child Grinding His or Her Teeth?

Bruxism is the name for a habit of grinding or clenching teeth, and it usually happens during a deep sleep. Affecting both kids and adults, it can be particularly difficult to pinpoint the cause of the habit in children. Bruxism is fairly common in kids, and is usually outgrown. In some cases, however, the problem persists. What are some possible underlying causes that can be addressed?

Bruxism could be the result of misaligned teeth. If top and bottom teeth don’t fit properly when your child bites down, this could be causing some tension in the mouth, resulting in a grinding habit.

Grinding and clenching could be a response to some form of temporary pain such as that experienced with an earache or while teething. In this case, once the source of the pain passes, the grinding too should go away.

As in the case of adults, bruxism can be indicative of nervous tension (stress) or even anger. Children are easily affected by things such as family changes and pressure to perform well in school. If your son or daughter is dealing with a stressful event in his or her life, then the bruxism could be a temporary symptom of that.

Lastly, certain medications or other underlying medical conditions (such as hyperactivity and cerebral palsy) have been known to have bruxism as a side-effect. Talk with your child’s doctor about potential systemic causes of teeth-grinding.

Depending upon your child’s age and how long the bruxism habit has persisted, the dentist will determine at some point whether or not intervention will be necessary. The key is to have your child’s bruxism habit well-monitored so that our team can be ready to address it.

Posted on behalf of:
Springfield Lorton Dental Group
5419-C Backlick Rd
Springfield, VA 22151
(703) 256-8554

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