The school year is approaching and dentists are being warned to look out for stress-related symptoms in younger patients.
The warnings come from the London Tooth Wear Centre, which has claimed that stress-related symptoms, including grinding and clenching, could cause wear beyond children’s years.
Bruxism in children could cause changes in facial symmetry, inability of the lips to form an adequate seal, pain in the area of the masseter or temporalis muscles upon palpation, headaches and earaches, dentine sensitivity, and temporomandibular disorders, as well as anterior and posterior cross bites and tooth wear.
The London Tooth Wear Centre went on to advise that if a child is presenting with warning signs, it will be helpful to ensure he/she is brushing effectively yet gently with a relatively soft toothbrush and a toothpaste that is low in abrasivity, as well as suggesting they do something relaxing before bed.
In addition to this a soft mouthguard can be worn at night to prevent further damage to the dentition, however this will need to be changed regularly for younger patients as the child’s teeth develop.