Should You Worry About Your Child’s Teeth Grinding?

When we think about teeth grinding, we tend to think about adults, particularly stressed out or high-strung adults who habitually grind their teeth and clench their jaws. You may find it surprising that children can also be susceptible to teeth grinding and, as a concerned parent, you want to know whether this parafunctional behavior poses any risk to your child. Today, we’re examining a few reasons why your child may grind their teeth as well as steps you should take to ensure their good oral and physical health.

Common Causes of Teeth Grinding in Children

Every child is different; therefore what’s causing your child to grind her teeth at night may differ from that of another child. Still, this behavior is most often attributable to:

  • Misalignment of the top and bottom teeth
  • Earache pain. Moving the jaws back and forth releases pressure from the ear.
  • Seasonal allergies. Teeth grinding can occur as a result of an itchy throat.
  • Stress. Just like adults, children experience stress, which often prompts teeth grinding.
  • Hyperactivity. Children with ADD or ADHD often grind their teeth.

Children usually do not suffer with any long-lasting effects of teeth grinding. However, it frequently leads to jaw pain and headaches and, in severe cases, can wear away tooth enamel. And, as any parent of a child who grinds their teeth can attest, the sound of your child’s teeth grinding can be loud and unsettling.

When to Seek Help

If your child grinds her teeth, be sure to mention it to your family dentist during your next visit. He can perform a quick examination and determine whether it’s caused by a physical problem (like teeth misalignment or allergies) or a psychological or stress-related issue. Then, he can recommend a treatment plan to address the misalignment, or refer you to another healthcare provider in certain circumstances.


As a native Texan, Gregory Wright, DDS, opened his private practice in Southlake, TX in 1992. He and Dr. Victoria Heron are happily accepting new patients from Southlake, Grapevine, Keller, Trophy Club, Colleyville, and all surrounding communities. To learn more, call our office today at (817) 481-7999.