Great Smiles Pediatric & Orthodontics | Children, Adult Orthodontic Treatment and Invisalign®® / 3M™ Clarity™

Is Your Child a “Noisy” Sleeper? It May Signal Sleep Apnea

February 26, 2023

Sleep apnea. If you think it’s a condition that strikes adults only, think again. Children can also suffer from this potentially serious sleep disorder in which breathing repeatedly stops and starts. While in adults the major risk factors of obstructive sleep apnea are excess weight coupled with advancing age, in children the most common cause is enlarged tonsils and/or adenoids.

Working as part of an interdisciplinary team of specialists, the office of Great Smiles Pediatric & Orthodontics can help to diagnose pediatric obstructive sleep apnea and provide orthodontic treatment and oral appliances to support positive airway changes that can alleviate the symptoms — and consequences — of the condition.

Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea is a disorder in which your child's breathing is partially or completely blocked repeatedly during sleep. Since breathing pauses interrupt the normal sleep cycle, sleep quality is poor, and your child will feel tired throughout the day as a result. The condition is due to the narrowing or blockage of the upper airway during sleep. Left undiagnosed, pediatric obstructive sleep apnea can lead to major health consequences.

Symptoms to watch for:

  • loud snoring with gasping
  • choking or snorts
  • long pauses in breathing while sleeping
  • bedwetting
  • daytime sleepiness
  • irritability
  • hyperactivity
  • difficulty concentrating

Our office will work with your child’s medical team to diagnose the condition and determine if orthodontic treatment can improve symptoms. One of those treatments is oral appliance therapy, custom-made dental mouthpieces that your child wears throughout the night during sleep. The appliance prevents the air obstruction, helping your child breathe easier and sleep better.

Committed to your child’s health

At the office of Great Smiles Pediatric & Orthodontics, we’re dedicated to providing the highest quality of skilled and compassionate care. For more information on our office and the many services we provide, give us a call today.

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