TMJ Guide

Baby Bruxism: Do You Need to Worry?

Baby Bruxism is usually an oral condition that does not require medical attention under normal circumstances. This condition exists in many young children, especially in those under six years of age. Baby Bruxism will usually go away on its own after a child grows beyond six years of age. A little knowledge about this condition is required in order to monitor that it does not stay on beyond the usual age. Bruxism is also multifactorial and it would be wise to check that some of the more avoidable reasons are not what is causing the baby Bruxism.

Common causes of baby Bruxism:

  1. A young child of about three or three and half years of age is likely to indulge in teeth grinding or teeth clenching (the typical symptoms of Bruxism) when they are due for their first teeth to show up. Teething causes irritation in the gums and this might make the baby grind or clench the mouth or existing teeth.
  2. Some form of mild pain either due to teething or an ear ache can also lead to teeth grinding the medical term being Bruxism.
  3. Sometimes nightmares are also associated with teeth grinding and teeth clenching.
  4. Some attribute teeth grinding to the presence of worms in the digestive tracts of a baby
  5. If a child goes to sleep disturbed, he or she is likely to grind teeth during the sleep hours
  6. In older children, stress and anxiety is known to cause teeth grinding habits. One of the most widely accepted reasons for Bruxism to take place is the existence of some stress factor which acts like a trigger to initiate teeth grinding.

The wider implications of baby Bruxism:

Baby Bruxism is not considered to be harmful as such. The sounds of the teeth grinding motions in a baby can be worrisome to a new mother. However, there is enough evidence that most babies grow out of baby Bruxism.

Just to be sure that baby Bruxism is not because of something more serious such as an ear infection for example, an examination by a physician can be carried out. If all else seems well with the baby, then teeth grinding in a baby need not cause more anxiety than it deserves. So long as the baby seems happy in his or her waking hours and looks otherwise healthy enough, there is not much need for worry.

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