What every Parent should know about Sleep Apnea in Kids

sleep apnea in kidsSan Francisco, Marin, and Oakland, CA

Protecting your children from harm is a daily commitment that requires diligence, knowledge, and understanding for every parent. For example, most parents prevent accidents by baby-proofing their home or having early conversations about playing outside safely. But, unfortunately, some children experience a devastating sleep breathing disorder that can claim a child’s life unexpectedly. The condition, known as the silent killer, can affect children as early as age two. Fortunately, our San Francisco pediatric sleep apnea dentists at Glen Park Dental share on the blog today what every parent should know about sleep apnea in kids. That way, you have peace of mind that you understand and are aware of pediatric sleep apnea symptoms and learn how to take action when needed.

What is pediatric sleep apnea?

Sleep apnea is a condition that affects millions of Americans, and most are unaware of their situation but suffer from symptoms. The airway can become constricted or blocked during sleep, preventing proper airflow and life-sustaining oxygen from reaching the brain. The blockage often causes snoring and mouth breathing, resulting in a lack of oxygen that interferes with growth and development. Therefore, our experienced pediatric sleep apnea dentists in Marin recommend correcting the problem during your child’s early years and helping them develop properly.

What are the pediatric sleep apnea symptoms?

Knowing the warning signs of sleep apnea could help you get help for your child. Therefore, our Oakland sleep apnea dentists list some symptoms below that your child may experience if they have sleep apnea. However, sleep apnea can present various symptoms, so it’s best to check with your dentist if you have concerns about your child.

  • Snoring – The number one sign that your child may have a sleep breathing disorder is snoring. Whether they snore lightly, heavily, constantly, or occasionally, schedule an appointment for a consultation.
  • Mouth Breathing – A secondary sign is your child’s need to breathe through their mouth due to an airway blockage. They may exhibit an open mouth posture at all times, and as they grow, their lower jaw becomes recessed (pushed back).
  • Poor School or Sports Performance – Low grades may indicate that your child is not resting well since lack of oxygen affects brain function.

Some children who receive behavioral problem treatment, such as ADD/ADHD, merely suffer from an oxygen deficiency from sleep apnea. In fact, according to a study in the US National Library of Medicine, 30% of children diagnosed with ADHD also have obstructive sleep apnea. As a result, several kids receive a misdiagnosis for attention deficit disorders when the problem may stem from pediatric sleep apnea, which can cause behavioral changes.

How could my child’s primary care physician overlook my child’s sleep apnea disorder?

Unfortunately, sleep apnea is a commonly overlooked condition that may receive a different diagnosis and treatment process for adults and children alike. Several pediatricians treat children’s behavioral issues with medications, which can curb hyperactivity but not resolve the underlying problem. In these cases, the child becomes over-medicated for a condition they do not have, and their sleep apnea goes untreated, resulting in potentially devastating consequences. Therefore, before submitting your child to medications, contact a children’s sleep apnea dentist in San Francisco to determine if your child has an airway disorder. If we believe that your child has positive indicators for sleep apnea, we may refer your child to a sleep specialist for an official sleep study. We can then collaborate with your sleep specialist for a customized treatment plan to relieve the condition and have your child sleep and breathe better.

Continual mouth breathing is more than an aesthetic concern. It dries out the mouth, which encourages the overgrowth of oral bacteria responsible for causing cavities and gum disease. Therefore, untreated mouth breathing could worsen your child’s oral health, resulting in more dental work and expenses.

Pediatric Sleep Apnea Dentists in Marin, Oakland, and San Francisco, California

Your child’s life is precious and should receive protection as best as possible. When they show sleep apnea signs, immediately schedule an appointment with our Oakland pediatric sleep apnea dentists at Glen Park Dental. After an examination, we can determine the best action course to remedy the conditions and restore your child’s natural airway to get the life-sustaining oxygen pertinent to their growth and development. If you think your child may have pediatric sleep apnea, you have additional questions, or would like to request a consultation, feel free to call Glen Park Dental at (415) 585-1500.