My 7-Year Old is grinding his teeth so badly at night that I can hear it from the next room over. Isn't this bad for his teeth or will he end up with TMJ?

 

Q: My 7-Year Old is grinding his teeth so badly at night that I can hear it from the next room over. Isn't this bad for his teeth or will he end up with TMJ?

A: Actually, it's quite normal and somewhat expected of this age group to grind their teeth at night. It can be a subtle as a little tapping noise and sever enough to wake the next door neighbors.

"TMJ" in children is rare, especially when compared to the percentage of children that do grind their teeth. One of the theories behind why your child grinds their teeth is that he is at the age where his baby teeth are well on their way to becoming loose and falling out. This may be one of the body's ways of helping the process along and allowing the permanent teeth to come through  on time. 

Another reason for the clenching is that as permanent teeth erupt they exert a constant pressure from under the baby teeth and biting down on them can feel "soothing". Either way I wouldn't run to the drug store for an athletic mouth guard to make him wear at night just yet. Let nature run its course and it will eventually stop. 

Author: Dr. Ryan Wallin DDS

Source: Go Gilbert Magazine

 
Blake Rossell