BRUXISM IN CHILDREN
Bruxism is commonly known as teeth grinding in layman term. It is a condition in which children tend to grind their teeth most common during the night time. The grinding of teeth results sometimes in enormous sound which is like heavy metal cutting wood or steel or timber. This sound results in heavy disturbance to the person sleeping beside the child. In such scenario it is always necessary to take guidance from a pediatric dentist as soon as possible. Bruxism when untreated can result in severe enamel loss, sensitivity to heat and cold stuffs, sometimes even brushing becomes extremely difficult to the child. So having discussed the effects of this problem now, I would like to say how to handle the situation.
WHY IS IT HAPPENENING TO MY CHILD?
When a child with complaint of bruxism lands into a dental office or if a child enters with some other problem which can also be bruxism, first and foremost cause to be ruled out is worm infestation in the intestine. This can be done by deworming medications, commonly used medications are Albendazole, Mebendazole (Brand name: zentel, mebex). Second most common reason is multiple cavities in the teeth for which we have rehabilitatory care (Dental filling and Crowns) should be provided. Third most common reason is improper alignment of the teeth or jaw growth. If a child does not improve in the problem of the bruxism after taking care of these factors and the last common factor sited for teeth grinding in children is stress. In that case we need to evaluate their social and non-social environment, schooling environment, Peer pressure, wild dreams, hallucinations in the night time, watching violent videos in the computers before sleep, aggressive behavior pattern etc.
HOW TO GET THROUGH THIS PROBLEM?
If stress is the causative factor then avoid the factors initiating stress. Make a peaceful environment to get sleep pattern, parental counselling should be given. In extreme situations psychiatric counselling and opinion is needed. After ruling out all these factors, deprogramming of the brain which is instigating the habitual pattern should be altered. Night guards are provided either in one or both jaws depending upon the severity of the problem. It is usually worn for 3 to 6 months in the night. De-programming the brain usually takes 3 to 6 months to control the habit and change the reflex pattern of the brain.
TAKE HOME MESSAGE TO PARENTS:
Grinding of the teeth is the problem which looks like the tip of Iceberg but there is a big size ice lying underneath the water. So, early and effective intervention is mandatory in the situation
“NO GRINDING-BETTER TEETH”
“MORE GRINDING-NO TEETH”