Tooth Grinding in Children – Causes & Treatment

Tooth Grinding In Children

Clenching or Grinding of Teeth widely known as Bruxism is common these days in kids and adults.

Tooth Grinding in Children can occur in daytime hours as well as during sleep at night.

In most of the case, kids aren’t aware of clenching jaw or grinding of teeth during the night.

The reason could be concentration on something while sleeping or stressful situations.

In teens, it is a severe warning of oral misalignment and can lead to damage of teeth and gums.

Do not let it untreated as it may lead to sleep apnea or poor sleep.

What is Bruxism?

Bruxism is excessive teeth grinding, gnashing of teeth or clenching that is related to stress and anger.

The related symptoms may include headaches, hypersensitive teeth, and aching jaw muscles.

It happens due to anxiety, pressure, and stress.

It is of two types awake bruxism and sleep bruxism.

  • Awake Bruxism: It is related to the gnashing and clenching of teeth while awake.
  • Sleep Bruxism: Grinding and clenching teeth at night.

When you grind teeth, you put pressure on the tissue around the teeth called membrane.

It leads to less blood supply and loss to the underline bones, jaw bones or jaw joints.

They may cause joint or jaw pain, headaches, earaches, or pain in chewing.

Signs and Symptoms of Bruxism in Children

  • Facial Pain
  • Frequent Headaches
  • Earaches
  • Broken Teeth or Fillings
  • Disruptive Sleep
  • Difficulty in Opening or Closing Mouth
  • Pain in Jaw Joints
  • Sore or Tired Jaw
  • Loud Grinding or Clicking Sounds
  • Clenching of Jaw Muscles
  • Soft Tissues Damaged of the Mouth
  • Tooth Sensitivity to Hot and Cold
  • Missing or Misalignment of Teeth

Causes of Clenching or Grinding of Teeth

1. Anxiety and Stress

Anxiety and Stress

In the competitive age kids, especially 8 to 12 years are suffering from stress and anger issues.

It may be due to the pressure of studies or school activities.

Stress can also occur due to arguments or the stressful environment at home.

It further results in teeth clenching or grinding of teeth in sleep.

Generally, children may do it to relieve anxiety and stress.

To reduce stress talk to your kids about the issues and try to solve it out.

Give them your time, help them with studies and give them plenty of time to play.

2. Suppressed Anger

Suppressed Anger

The kids or toddlers who experience frustration or anger are likely to chew or grind teeth.

It is a common factor in children who get angry so quickly.

It is the way of dealing with stress, pressure and any negative emotion.

3. Asthma


Asthma or respiratory infections is also a cause of sleep bruxism.

The respiratory or breathing problems are the leading factor of clench and teeth grinding.

Children suffering from airways infections are more likely to grind their teeth at night.

4. Sleep Apnea

Sleep Apnea

Clenching is prevalent in who breathe from their mouth and have a habit of snoring.

It is due to the upper airways obstacle in which the tongue and the tissues fall back and block the airways.

It may lead to awakening during the night and disruptive sleep.

Sleep is the essential part of child oral and mental health.

You must not ignore teeth grinding in children as it may lead to many health issues.

You can also read about Newborn Snoring – Causes, Treatments & More

5. Digestive Parasite

Digestive Parasite

Many parents think that teeth grinding is a part of growing.

In actual it may lead to a severe problem which needs to check.

Grinding teeth occurs due to stomach parasites and stomach worm.

Kids may clench teeth due to stomach pain or digestive parasites.

As per many studies, Bruxism is more prevalent in kids due to intestinal parasites in the stomach.

These infections occur due to allergy, food sensitivity and nutrient deficiency.

When these parasites enter into the digestive system, they release the metabolites.

It has a toxic impact on the body that can spread through dirty hands, toys and infections.

Children do nail-biting and put things and toys in their mouth.

Signs of Stomach Parasite

  • Teeth Grinding
  • Insomnia
  • Nervousness
  • Abdominal Pain
  • Nutrient Deficiency
  • Skin Conditions
  • Muscle and Joint Pain
  • Weakness

11 Home Remedies for Tooth Grinding in Children (Bruxism)

1. Deep Breathing Techniques

Deep Breathing Techniques

Breathing Techniques helps you to get calm and feel relaxed.

Help your kid to learn breathing exercises if they have sleep apnea problems.

It helps you to get calm and feel relaxed.

Pursed Lip Breathing Technique

  1. Inhale through your nose for 4 seconds and exhale with the lips to outwards.
  2. Repeat the procedure one or two times a day for few seconds.

It will help you to relax and refocus to regain the control.

Equal Breathing

It includes inhaling and exhaling through the nose.

  1. Slowly inhale through the nose till five counts and breath out by counting to five.
  2. Now take a short pause and repeat the process.

Alternate Nostril Breathing

It helps you to relax your mind and reduce stress.

Steps to do the Following:

  1. Use your thumb to cover your right nostril and inhale through the left.
  2. Cover your left nostril with ring finger and exhale through the right side.
  3. Now inhale through the right nose and cover it through the thumb and exhale to the left.
  4. Again inhale through the left and exhale through the right.

Repeat this process before sleeping to get better and sound sleep.

2. Relax Your Jaw

When you grind your teeth, it can lead to jaw pain, earaches, and muscles pain.

The best way to relax your jaw is by getting a warm bath, warm compress, and facial jaw.

These methods help to reduce the muscles tensions and stop grinding at night.

Do a simple jaw massage during the day to reduce the effect of teeth grinding at night.

Help your children to avoid chewing edges of pencils, and biting nails or gums.

Steps to Relax your Jaw:

  1. Sit straight on a chair, take your hands and stretch the muscles around your neck.
  2. Bend your fingers and get along to the jaw muscles.
  3. Go up and down and press your muscles, do it nice and slow.
  4. Now use your thumbs to put pressure to the underneath jawlines.
  5. Start from the back and give steady pressure to the inside of jaw bones.
  6. Do not go to the chin area instead focus to the back area.

Do it for a few seconds to get relief from your jaw pain and clenching of teeth.

3. Mouth Guard

Mouth Guard

Mouth Guard is worn at night to stop the teeth from grinding.

These guards are made up of hard acrylic or soft materials.

It helps to keep your teeth separated and avoid the damage by clenching or grinding.

It provides stability to the teeth and jaws by keeping your teeth from rubbing together.

You can visit your dentist to get the night guard fixed or to get a high-quality guard recommendation.

4. Manage Stress

Manage Stress

Try to relieve the stress by meditation, deep breathing exercises to calm and relax your child’s mind.

With the help of meditation and yoga teach your child to promote relaxation.

Stress is the primary cause of clenching teeth.

You can also attend stress counseling or therapist that will teach you the way to relax muscles.

  1. Give your child a warm bath before sleeping to relax the muscles.
  2. Try yoga and breathing techniques to reduce stress and frustration.
  3. Gradually inhale for few seconds and exhale to the same counts.

The same breathing technique will help you to get a sound sleep.

5. Use Pillow

Use Pillow

Pillow is very helpful in managing your sleep postures and reduces the teeth grinding.

With the contoured pillow, you can manage a position to reduce strain on your jaws and neck.

It will further help you to reduce the problem of grinding of teeth.

6. Warm Compress

Warm Compress

Warm Compress is a useful way to reduce the pain in the jaw muscles.

You can apply warm compress in the form of a warm water bottle and warm towel.

Apply it to your jaw or neck to release pain and tension.

Remember to use a lukewarm pack and be careful with burning hot compress.

7. Milk and Turmeric Powder

Milk and Turmeric Powder

Milk and Turmeric provide with calcium helps to maintain oral health.

It also helps to relax your nervous system.

Things you Need:

  • One Glass Milk
  • One Tbsp. Turmeric Powder

How to make Turmeric Milk?

  1. Add Turmeric Powder to a glass of Milk and mix it well.
  2. Drink it 30 minutes before going to sleep.

Give your kid Turmeric Milk regularly as it helps to control grinding teeth.

8. Learn to Avoid Clenching

Learn to Avoid Clenching

You can teach your kid how to avoid clenching of teeth.

Tell them to hold their teeth apart if they feel that they are about to press them together.

It will help your child to stop clenching up to some level.

9. Calcium and Magnesium

Calcium and Magnesium

Calcium and Magnesium are the best supplements to stop clenching of teeth.

It contains compounds that help to stop teeth grinding and bruxism.

Before taking a necessary supplement, it is better to consult the doctor.

10. Massage


Massage or Therapy is an effective way to get a sound sleep.

It helps you to relax while sleeping and reduce the effect of grinding of teeth.

Gently massage your neck muscles, shoulders and face.

A drop of essential oil such as Rosemary or Lavender Oil on the pillow helps to reduce stress.

You can also try essential oil massage of jaw, head or neck.

11. Warm Bath

Warm Bath

Many studies have confirmed that taking a warm bath helps to reduce tension and stress.

It gives your body complete relaxation and reduces the chance of clenching at night.

A few drops of Lavender, Rosemary or Chamomile can be helpful in bathing to get a sound sleep.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. When Is the Time to Visit a Doctor?

If you are concerned about your baby health, you can go for a regular checkup to a pediatrician.

Visit a dentist, If you see any changes in your baby teeth or clenching or grinding of teeth.

If you see joint pain, muscles pain, earache, soreness caused by clenching tell your dentist.

Do not avoid or ignore these symptoms as it may make the situations worse.

2. Why Does My Child Grind Teeth at Night?

Children grind in two cases one is when new teeth emerge and second is when their permanent teeth come in.

However, the other reasons could be stress, tensions, and breathing problems.

The majority of cases grind teeth during their sleep rather than in waking hours.

The other reasons could be a misalignment of teeth, allergies, digestive worms or any other medical conditions.

You must consult a dentist when you see all these changes instead of neglecting them.

3. What Is Gnashing of Teeth?

The weeping and gnashing happen when one grinds their teeth together.

Many kids gnash their teeth when they are angry, irritated or stressed.

Many studies confirmed that children gnash their teeth when they are upset or worried.

They also use it as an expression to show disapproval of something.

4. How to Stop Grinding Teeth While Sleeping?

First, know the causes of grinding of teeth to reduce its effect.

It can be due to many factors such as stress, sleep disorder, and misalignment of teeth.

You can go to your dentist to fix the issues that may cause clenching or grinding.

The other way is to protect your teeth with night guards and bruxism appliances.

It will give protection to your teeth and will reduce jaw muscle pain.

You can also take warm compress, warm bath or essential oils massage before sleeping.

Use these remedies before going to sleep to get better and sound sleep.

5. Is Teeth Grinding Harmful?

The mild case of clenching of teeth is not that harmful.

Chronic teeth grinding may lead to loss of teeth, loosening, and fracture.

It may damage the teeth and may result in tooth loss, affect the jaws or worsen the situation.

When these situations happen, you may need a root canal, implant, bridges or partial dentures.

6. How to Stop Grinding Teeth During The Day?

The daytime clenching is related to stress levels and anxiety.

One can use as a form of expression to show disapproval of something.

The best way to reduce the problem is by triggering your stress areas.

Once you have found out what causes you stress, you can surely eliminate it.

You can also take help of cognitive behavioral therapy.

You can do yoga or breathing exercises that will help your child to reduce stress.

However, the daytime mouth guards are available, but it can affect the speech.

Scroll to Top