TMD and Children
TMD is a condition that many believe affects only adults; however, when pain or tightness in the jaw makes chewing, opening their mouth or even smiling difficult in children, they may have developed TMD and can likely benefit from treatment.
Teeth grinding or clenching of the jaw can be a common – and likely unconscious – behavior in kids that can make TMD more likely. It can cause wear on the joint as well as affect alignment of the teeth and function of the muscles used for chewing. TMD are also more common with other dental problems, including a misaligned bite, missing teeth or trauma to the head, neck or jaw. Some symptoms of TMD in children include:
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- Waking up with sore, stiff muscles around the jaw
- Frequent headaches or neck aches
- Pain or increased pain when chewing or clenching teeth
- Clicking, popping or locking of the jaw
- Pain when opening mouth, eating or yawning
- Previous injury to neck, head or jaws
Frequently, treatment can be as simple as a custom-fit sleep appliance that prevents the teeth from touching and lessening the effects of grinding and clenching.
TMD can disrupt your child’s normal routine and even their development, so it’s important to watch for signs and symptoms. If your child is experiencing TMD symptoms like headaches, jaw pain, difficulty chewing or a clicking sound when opening their mouth, call (712) 546-5183 or click to schedule an appointment at Le Mars Dental Center.