Parents, Could your Child be Suffering from this Devastating Disorder?

children and sleep apnea

San Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

Parents constantly worry about keeping their children safe and healthy. Between band-aid applications and feeding them a well-balanced diet, you put a lot of thought and consideration into caring for your child. However, your child could be suffering from a devastating disorder that can dramatically impact growth and development. When checking on your child before bed, you may notice restlessness, paused or delayed breathing patterns, or snoring. Unfortunately, these are symptoms of a sleep breathing disorder called sleep apnea. Our Bay Area sleep apnea dentists at Glen Park Dental share information on the blog today about the disorder, warning signs and consequences, why it’s becoming a widespread problem, and how our experienced dentists can help your child get quality sleep.

Many children suffer from sleep apnea

Sleep apnea has a history of association with overweight or older men. However, research clearly illustrates that sleep apnea or other sleep breathing disorders can occur at any age, regardless of weight or fitness level. Up to four percent of children in the US suffer from sleep apnea, according to the American Sleep Apnea Association. Our Oakland sleep apnea dentists for children explain that, unfortunately, many sleep apnea sufferers fail to receive a proper diagnosis and are treated for the symptoms, not the problem.

Although children often experience the same symptoms as adults, like restless sleep, headaches, chronic fatigue, and snoring, they also exhibit specialized characteristics. For example, many children with a sleep disorder begin mimicking behavioral disorders like ADD and ADHD. Unfortunately, the behavior becomes the focus, and the child receives a prescribed medication or therapy to address the problem. In most cases, neither treatment is successful as it treats the behavior, but not the underlying condition causing the behavioral change.

Address your child’s breathing habits to reduce sleep apnea risk

Many children naturally breathe through their mouth and not their nose as nature intended. Breathing through your nose increases your body’s ability to absorb more oxygen, boosts your nitric oxide intake, results in wider dental arches, and promotes an open airway. An open and wide airway with no obstructions is crucial for proper breathing and reduces your child’s sleep apnea risk.

Mouth breathing restricts the airway while sleeping and can also increase harmful bacteria production that can quickly lead to cavities. Additionally, chronic mouth breathing interferes with the proper development of their jaws and facial structure while increasing their sleep apnea risk. Therefore, our pediatric airway dentists in Marin can address your child’s mouth breathing condition.

Sleep Apnea Treatment for Children in Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California

The highly trained dentists at our San Francisco dentist’s office understand sleep apnea in children, how to screen for airway disorders, and apply effective treatments to manage the condition. If you notice common sleep apnea symptoms in your child, have our dentists screen them for sleep apnea before requiring them to take medication or visit a therapist. Call Glen Park Dental today at (415) 585-1500 or contact us online to schedule an appointment for your child.