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dr dunne teeth grinding

What’s That Sound?

When you look in on your sleeping child, you want to hear the sounds of sweet dreams: easy breathing and perhaps an occasional sigh. But some parents hear the harsher sounds of gnashing and grinding teeth, called bruxism. Many children grind their teeth with a loud, grating sound while asleep. Teeth grinding is very common, particularly in toddlers and preschoolers. In most children, it goes away by 6 years, but some continue to grind their teeth into adolescence and even adulthood.

Teeth grinding doesn’t mean that your child is having a nightmare or reliving a frustrating event from the daytime. Some causes of teeth grinding include pain (for instance, from an ear infection or teething) and improper alignment of the teeth.

Although stress and anxiety can also increase teeth grinding, there is no connection between teeth grinding and problems of behavior or personality. It usually goes away before the permanent teeth are in and, in most cases, it is unlikely to damage the teeth.

If your child grinds her teeth and you have any concerns, check with Dr. Dunne at your next check-up.

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