Do your kids grind their teeth?

“My child grinds his teeth when sleeping – sometimes so loud it wakes us up. Is this normal?”
The answer is “Yes” and maybe “No.”
“Yes” – grinding is a normal response to your child’s growing/changing dentition (arrangement or condition of the teeth), and the majority of children outgrow it by the time the permanent teeth erupt. So generally speaking, you needn’t be concerned.
But, grinding could also be a response to OSA – Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This means, your child is having breathing problems while sleeping. If this is the case, something needs to be done. How can you know if it might be OSA? Any of these conditions could indicate sleeping/breathing problems:
• Large tonsils
• Snoring
• Stops breathing for a moment while sleeping
• Somnolence (sleepiness, drowsiness)
• Behavior problems
• Being overweight
• Bed wetting
If your child has any of these problems consult with a pediatrician or ENT (Ears, Nose and Throat Specialist)
Remember also that grinding, no matter the reason, can cause hypersensitivity and broken teeth. Regular visits to the dentist are recommended.