Posts for tag: child
There’s nothing sweeter than a sleeping child. The peaceful look of contentment, the gentle breathing, a small smile as they enjoy a happy dream – it all seems perfect. Until you hear it. A loud grinding and gnashing noise that comes from their small mouth? What is that? And is it as bad as it sounds?
Bruxism- What Is It?
Bruxism is the medical term from grinding, gnashing or clenching your teeth. For children, it’s more common for these behaviors to be displayed during sleep, rather than while they are awake. Sleep Bruxism is actually considered a sleep-related movement disorder. The disorder is also called nocturnal bruxism, nocturnal tooth-grinding and nocturnal tooth-clenching.
While bruxism in children is fairly common, the exact cause of sleep bruxism is unknown. It has been linked to improperly aligned teeth or irregular contact between upper and lower teeth, stress, anxiety, a response to pain, such as an earache or teething and other medical conditions.
Because most children display these behaviors only when sleeping, it’s nearly impossible for them to know that they do it. You will need to observe your child while he or she sleeps. Symptoms that your child is suffering from sleep bruxism include:
- Abnormal wear of the teeth
- Sounds associated with bruxism (Think loud chomping and grinding noises in their mouth!)
- Jaw muscle discomfort
- Complaining of headaches
- Tooth sensitivity
Impact of Bruxism on Child’s Health:
Most children will outgrow bruxism, and sometimes, it may go totally undetected. However, even if they don’t complain of jaw pain or other symptoms, bruxism can still have negative effects on your child’s teeth and general health. The grinding and gnashing can cause headaches and earaches. Over time, it can also wear down the tooth enamel, chip teeth and cause temperature sensitivity. Children that exhibit more severe bruxism may even have TMJ problems.
What Can You Do?
While there may not be a lot you can do to stop your child from clenching or grinding in their sleep, there are ways you can help lessen the frequency and intensity of incidences. If stress or anxiety is the cause of the bruxism, encourage your child to relax before bedtime with warm baths, soothing music, relaxing books and stories. Try to identify the areas causing stress and anxiety and help your child through it.
If you think your child is grinding his or her teeth, schedule a visit with your pediatric dentist, who will examine the teeth for chipped enamel and unusual wear and tear. They may spray air and water on the teeth to check for unusual sensitivity. In severe cases, your pediatric dentist may recommend a nighttime mouth guard for your child to wear while he or she sleeps. Since most children won’t be excited to keep this in their mouth, it’s not likely that your pediatric dentist would recommend this for very young children. For young children, relieving stress and anxiety, encouraging relaxation at bedtime and monitoring damage are the best options. Eliminating afternoon caffeine and turning electronics off two hours before bedtime may also help them sleep better.
If you are looking for a dental home for your child, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry would love to be your trusted partner in your child’s oral health. Call us today at 864-760-1440. Let us give you Something to Smile About!
Why Does My Kid Have Bad Breath?
Does your child seem to have a case of morning breath - all day? While not pleasant, most cases of bad breath in children can be easily resolved.
Halitosis is the medical term for chronic bad breath. In adults, Halitosis, or chronic bad breath that never goes away, despite brushing and rinsing, can be an indicator of an underlying medical problem. In children, more often than not, bad breath is usually just an indicator of poor oral hygiene, which can be remedied at home and almost immediately.
As a pediatric dentist, the most important advice I can give is also the easiest thing to do: work to improve oral hygiene and be consistent. You have to brush, absolutely must floss, and brush your tongue. You have to do these things every day.
Below are some surefire ways to help eliminate your kid’s bad breath:
Floss - If you ever doubt the need for flossing, try smelling the used floss after flossing your teeth. It sounds gross, right? Well, if your floss stinks, so does your mouth.
Don’t’ Forget the Tongue - Brushing your child’s tongue will also help prevent bad breath. The tongue harbors lots of bacteria, but many people neglect to brush it when they are brushing their teeth. With so much surface area, it can definitely cause a foul smell in your kid’s mouth.
Stay Hydrated- Saliva is a key component to fighting tooth decay in the mouth. When a kid’s mouth is constantly dry, their mouths have less saliva to wash away odor-causing bacteria. A lack of saliva can also lead to tooth decay and cavities. Encourage your child to drink water all the time, and especially when playing sports or outside.
Diet – A diet high in sugar will contribute to bad breath in your kid’s mouth. Sugar left on the teeth is a breeding ground for bacteria, which will produce a foul smell in the mouth.
When it’s more than bad breath:
If brushing, flossing and good diet aren’t helping your kid’s bad breath go away, or if you suspect that your kid’s bad breath is something more, do not hesitate to see your pediatric dentist and rule out other issues. Remember, these preventative measures can help prevent dental problems and bad breath, but that can’t solve existing decay or gum disease.
If your child has existing cavities or gum disease, treatment is the first step. Once existing problems are treated, these preventative measures can then help to prevent future dental problems.
As always, Anderson Pediatric Dentistry is always here to answer your questions, discuss treatment options and give you and your child Something to Smile About!
If you would like to schedule an appointment or discuss options, please call us at 864-760-1440.