"Noisy" Teeth May Be a Cause for Concern

Published Online: Thursday, July 1, 2004

Bruxism, a common problem among young children, has the highest incidence in children under 5 years old. The condition is defined as grinding of the teeth or clenching of the jaws. Although there is no known cause for bruxism, in some cases it is related to the children's growth and development. For example, some children grind because the top and bottom teeth are not aligned properly.

Typically, bruxism does not hurt children's teeth. Yet, in some extreme cases, grinding and clenching can wear down tooth enamel, chip teeth, and cause severe facial pain and jaw problems. Dental experts recommend that, if parents notice their children making a lot of grinding noises while sleeping, they should make an appointment with a dentist.

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