Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children
“Sleep-Disordered Breathing” is an all-inclusive term for breathing difficulties, ranging from mild snoring or mouth breathing to severe airway obstruction during sleep. When your child’s breathing is disrupted, his or her body is deprived of oxygen and recognizes the disruption much like choking. To deal with this, the body activates a stress response. A rise in blood pressure, slowed heart rate and aroused brain deprive the child of sleep, ultimately blocking the body’s ability to perform processes crucial to normal function and development.
The most common cause of airway restriction in children is underdevelopment of the mouth and jaw. Underdevelopment has been linked to a range of factors including thumb sucking, pacifier use, an overly soft diet, hereditary traits or a combination of any of these items. Using a system called The Healthy Start, Dr. Robinson is able to address underdevelopment by working with your child’s natural growth spurts as early as age 2 to encourage development where it is needed and guide teeth into their proper positions, expanding and fully developing the mouth and jaw.
Snoring is one easily identifiable indication that your child may not be getting enough oxygen while sleeping due to a restricted airway, but there are many others as well. Other symptoms, which are listed below, include childhood issues that are not yet commonly associated with sleep-disordered breathing. As a result, many children are often misdiagnosed. Early intervention and treatment of disordered breathing will not only treat the root cause of oxygen deprivation, it will also address secondary issues that have resulted from the body’s inability to function properly night after night after night.
Some Symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing Include:
- Mouth breathing
- Swollen tonsils or adenoids
- Frequent headaches
- Teeth grinding
- Excessive sweating while asleep
- Aggressive or irritable behavior
- Daytime drowsiness
- Difficulty in math, science, and spelling
The Healthy Start system works with natural forces of tooth eruption. Unlike some treatments that are invasive, permanent and uncomfortable, we use soft, comfortable, removable devices to gently guide erupting teeth and growing mouths.