Sleep Apnea in Children
This area of dental medicine involves helping your child breathe clearly and naturally, providing vital oxygen levels that promote whole-body health, mental acuity, and physical development. Obstructive sleep apnea is a common culprit. Yet, it’s often undiagnosed or misdiagnosed since symptoms are different in kids than in adults.
Sleep apnea is an even bigger concern with children than adults because their developing bodies and brains require sufficient oxygenation and are developing mentally and physically at a much faster rate. Untreated airway issues can result in continued and more severe sleep apnea as an adult, and the elevated health risks that go with it – obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, Alzheimer’s disease, premature births, and more.
Luckily, at Argyle Dental Sleep and TMJ, we offer treatment options for children suffering from sleep apnea.
Symptoms of Airway Concerns in Children
If you feel your child may be suffering from airway problems, there are common symptoms that may show indication of a possible sleep disorder, including:
- Mouth breathing
- Dry, chapped lips
- Foul breath in the morning
- Unusual sleep positions
- Excessive movement during sleep
- Bedwetting or frequently using the bathroom at night
- Nightmares or night awakenings
- Snoring or heavy breathing while sleeping
- Recurring respiratory infection
- Lung infections
- Daytime lethargy or hyperactivity
- Problems concentrating
Treatment Options for Pediatric Airways
Dr. Argyle offers a variety of treatment options to fix pediatric airway problems.
Functional Oral Appliances
Can assist in positioning teeth as they erupt and to help train the lips, cheeks, and tongue to properly function. There are a variety of different appliances and their use is often accompanied by myofunctional therapy.
Uses a combination of physical therapy exercises to improve the bite, breathing, and facial posture of those with orofacial myofunctional disorders (OMDs). This training targets the face, neck, and mouth’s soft tissues to reach optimal tongue position and oral rest posture. Treatment is customized by your age and symptoms.
Tethered oral tissue release
This therapy can be provided early in an infant’s life to allow for better nursing and to allow for proper swallowing. Children and adults can also benefit from getting a tight lip or tongue tie released. This typically can be done in a matter of minutes using a dental laser to remove the tethered portion of the tissue.
Helps to make the maxillary bone (roof of the mouth or palate) wider. This will help with your child’s airway in two main ways. It will provide proper room for the tongue to rest as well as widen the base of the nose which will allow for easier nasal breathing. Ideally, this is corrected before a child’s growth spurt.
Tonsillectomy and/or Adenoidectomy
Procedures may help open your child’s airway. The tonsils are found on the sides of the inside of the throat and often become swollen and inflamed in children that have low tongue posture and typically breathe through their mouth rather than their nose. Enlarged adenoids can make it difficult for children to breathe through their noses and increases their risk for sleep-related breathing problems.
Visit Argyle Dental Sleep and TMJ
It’s important to get sleep apnea under control in children as soon as possible. With our sleep apnea solutions, such as oral appliance therapy, children can get the relief they need for a better night’s sleep.
If you feel your child is suffering from airway problems or a sleep disorder, contact Dr. Argyle by calling (801) 416-3562 to schedule an appointment.