If you fear that your child has a dental problem because of how they grind their teeth in their sleep, you'll want to consult your family dentist. Your family dentist will examine the facial structure and the teeth to see if there are any problems that need to be addressed to stop the grinding. Temporal mandibular joint disorder is often the cause of grinding, and has many other side effects as well. Here are a few signs that your child has an orthodontic problem that needs to be addressed.
If you can hear your child grind their teeth in their sleep and it hurts for them to chew or they have jaw soreness, they could be dealing with TMJ. The grinding doesn't just wear the enamel on the teeth and make the teeth and gum tissues sensitive, but it can also cause the teeth to break and damage cause arthritis in the jaw joint. The dentist will see if your child has a jaw problem and needs orthodontic treatment.
With TMJ it can be difficult for the teeth to align and for the mouth to close, causing your child to sleep with their mouth open constantly. This can cause dry mouth, which can increase their risk of developing cavities, and it can cause bad breath. Dry mouth can also cause a white tongue. If they complain of dry mouth, or you notice it, make a note to talk with the dentist about it.
Some people complain that their ears always sound stuffy and that they hear a ringing when they are dealing with TMJ, and this can become quite a distraction while you're trying to concentrate or listen to a conversation. Ask your child if they hear any constant ringing or if they have pressure in their ears.
The longer you let the problem go, the more difficult it may be for your dental professional to fix, and the longer you put your child's smile at risk. You'll want to talk with the dentist right away so they can take an x-ray of your child's teeth and possibly make a bite protector for your child to wear in their mouth while they sleep to stop the grinding. Early orthodontic problems don't have to become lifelong oral health issues if you get the problems treated right away by a dental professional in your area.
Contact professionals like Buffalo Dental Group to learn more.