All Children's Hospital Logo

Health Information Library

Parents > A to Z > B > A to Z: Bruxism
A to Z: Bruxism

A to Z: Bruxism

Bruxism is the medical term for grinding the teeth or clenching the jaws.

More to Know

A lot of kids grind or clench their teeth during the day or night. They often are not even aware that they're doing it. Kids who grind their teeth can get headaches, earaches, a sore jaw, or sensitive teeth. The grinding might start to wear down their teeth.

Some kids grind their teeth when in pain (like with an ear infection) or under stress. Grinding also might happen when the top and bottom teeth don't line up properly. Some health conditions (such as allergies, certain infections, cerebral palsy, or Down syndrome) and certain medicines also can lead to teeth grinding.

Keep in Mind

Most kids outgrow teeth grinding as they get older and often do not need any treatment. If a cause for the grinding (such as an ear infection) is found, the doctor will treat it.

If teeth aren't lined up correctly, fixing their position can help with grinding. For kids who have pain or are wearing down their teeth, the doctor or dentist might recommend a night guard. This is a piece of plastic worn over the teeth to prevent grinding during sleep. Relaxation techniques can help if a child is stressed or anxious.

All A to Z dictionary entries are regularly reviewed by KidsHealth medical experts.

Related Articles
T    All About Orthodontia
P    Bruxism (Teeth Grinding or Clenching)
K    Going to the Dentist
K    Going to the Orthodontist
P    Keeping Your Child's Teeth Healthy
K    Taking the Bite Out of Bruxism
K    The Reality of Retainers
K    Word! Bruxism
Note: All information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult your doctor.
© 1995-2014 The Nemours Foundation/KidsHealth. All rights reserved.

Additional Info

Pocket Doc Mobile App
Maps and Locations (Mobile)
Programs & Services
Employment
For Health Professionals
For Patients & Families
Contact Us
Find a Doctor
News
CME

All Children's Hospital
501 6th Ave South
St. Petersburg, FL 33701
(727) 898-7451
(800) 456-4543

Use Normal Template
© 2014 All Children's Hospital - All Rights Reserved