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Teeth Grinding in Toddlers: When to Take Action

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is common among children. It happens when an individual presses their upper and lower jaws together. While the act itself is not dangerous, habitual teeth grinding can damage teeth and even accelerate tooth loss. Severe bruxism might require pediatric dental care in St. Johns County, FL.

Sleep-Related Bruxism

Many children might grind their teeth while they are asleep. This is because the jaw muscles are more likely to contract while sleeping. Teeth grinding while sleeping can be so loud that others might hear. If it is happening, it is involuntary and your child does not even realize they are doing it.


Doctors do not know what causes bruxism in children. Many factors might contribute to the behavior, including stress and anxiety, sleep disorders like sleep apnea, or pain caused by toothaches, teething, or ear infections.

Effects on Health

Bruxism in children is common. Children may engage in the behavior early, but may grow out of it as they gain their permanent teeth. However, if your child is past the age of six and still doing it, then it may require intervention.

Bruxism can disrupt sleep schedules, leading to a range of sleep-related problems. When a child gets their permanent teeth, bruxism can damage the teeth and gums, increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth loss.

Your child might require pediatric dental care for their bruxism if they have frequent headaches, signs of trauma in the teeth or gums, or they have complaints about pain or discomfort in the face when waking up. Arrange an appointment with your dentist if any of these signs occur.