Is your child having difficulty staying focused or following directions? Many parents would never suspect sleep apnea to be the cause of this behavior. Sleep apnea is a disorder characterized by breathing issues that occur while sleeping. This may cause many children to become irritable during the day and become hyperactive due to a lack of quality sleep.
When adults lack sleep, it’s common for them to appear tired or to have difficulty functioning. When this happens to children, they become more unbridled and exhibit symptoms that are somewhat similar to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, or ADHD. If you believe your child may be experiencing sleep apnea, our office in Trussville, AL is available to diagnose and treat the disorder. Schedule your child’s appointment online today!
What is Sleep Apnea?
Sleep apnea is a disorder that causes breathing to become irregular or temporarily stop after a person has fallen asleep. This is caused by an accumulation of soft tissues, such as the tonsils or tongue, partially blocking the airway in your child’s throat. While awake, your child has more control of these muscles and is able to breathe normally. When they fall asleep, however, the muscles relax and as a result, may block their airway. When this occurs, the child awakens and readjusts to get enough air before falling asleep again. This cycle of behavior makes it incredibly difficult for your child to get proper rest and leads to tossing and turning throughout the night.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
There are a variety of ways to treat sleep apnea, many of which depend on the cause of the disorder. If your child has enlarged tonsils that are blocking the airway, the tonsils may need to be removed. They may also benefit from a palatal expander. This is a device used for younger children that gently widens the roof of the mouth over time. This provides more room in the mouth and can increase airflow. Children that are older can benefit from Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT). The treatment involves wearing a custom-made oral appliance that repositions the jaw during sleep that prevents the tongue from getting stuck against the back of the throat.
In order to treat sleep apnea, you have to first identify what’s causing it. Please feel free to contact our office with any questions you may have or schedule an appointment online for your child.
Looking Out For the Health of Your Child
Dentistry is about more than just the care of our guest’s teeth. It’s about their overall health and wellbeing! As a pediatric practice, there is nothing more important to us than the oral health of your child. Our team will notify you if anything is abnormal during your child’s appointment, and we will immediately provide you with solutions or treatment options. If your child is suffering from sleep apnea, rest assured we are here to help. If you are located in or around Trussville, AL, and are seeking high-quality dental care for your child, contact our office today or schedule an appointment using our online system.