December 27, 2017
- Does your child snore loudly at night?
- Does your child take long pauses in breathing while they sleep?
- Does your child experience night sweats?
- Does your child experience extreme drowsiness during the day?
- Does your child exhibit a change in behavior and/or a decline in school performance?
If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms, it could be a sign that they are suffering from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA).
What is OSA? What is Sleep Apnea?
OSA (Obstructive Sleep Apnea) is a common sleep disorder that affects approximately 12 percent of children. It’s caused by partial or complete blockage of the airways during sleep. During sleep, your child’s throat muscles relax allowing the tongue and/or fatty tissues of the throat to fall back into the airways and block airflow. During an apnea event, air is restricted from moving beyond the obstruction reducing blood flow to the brain. As a result, the brain is signaled to partially awaken from sleep to tell the body that it needs to breathe. This is often followed by a loud gasping, choking, or snorting sounds as the person takes a deep enough breath to fight past the obstruction.
While this condition is fairly easy to treat, it is often left untreated because parents aren’t aware of the warning signs. So, how do you know if your kid actually has obstructive sleep apnea or if they are symptoms of something else? Visit your local orthodontist today. Due to their expertise and familiarity with growth and development as well as orthopedic and surgical correction of the jaws, orthodontists are ideally suited to diagnose OSA.
At Davis and Davis Orthodontics, Dr. Dale and Dr. Lisa are well trained in looking for the signs of Sleep Apnea. We are screening kids with our CBCT (a dental CT scan that allows us to gain a highly accurate 3-D image of your child’s anatomy from a single scan), looking at airways and discussing sleep issues. Currently we are administering a home sleep test and consulting on how orthodontics can change the architecture of the airway for better sleep and happy and healthier kids.
We make it a point to always ask new patients about their children’s sleep habits because it’s important to us to catch them early. Sleep Apnea can have significant side effects if left untreated, such as:
- High blood pressure
- Heart disease
- Chronic acid reflux
- & Depression
We’re proud to have helped many patients in this area – check out two below:
If you notice any of the above signs in your child’s sleep, click below to schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Dale or Dr. Lisa. We look forward to meeting you.