The problem is not limited to adults. Approximately 15% to 33% of children show the habit. Children who have the habit tend to do so at two peak times — when their baby teeth emerge and when their permanent teeth come in. Most children lose their habit after these two sets of teeth have come in more fully.
Most commonly, children express their habit during sleep rather than during waking hours. No one knows precisely why children do it, but considerations include improperly aligned teeth or irregular contact between upper and lower teeth, illnesses and other medical conditions (such as nutritional deficiencies and psychological factors including stress.
Grinding of the baby teeth rarely results in problems. However, it can cause pain, headaches, wear on the teeth, and TMD. Consult your dentist if your child’s teeth look worn or if your child complains of tooth sensitivity or pain.
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