Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
A good night’s rest typically helps us wake refreshed and energized for the day. However, breathing problems or sleep disorders in children can keep them from getting the necessary rest the body needs. One of the most common sleep disorders is known as sleep apnea. Sleep apnea occurs when the soft tissue in the back of your child’s throat blocks their airway while sleeping, causing a temporary disruption in airflow and disrupts their sleep causing “microarousals” that often go unnoticed by your child. Unfortunately, the lack of sleep can cause drowsiness, irritability, and behavior conerns that often are diagnosed as ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Find out what your child’s ADHD symptos have to do with your Royal Oak dentist, Dr. Nancy Hartrick.
Multiple studies have been conducted to further understand the relationship between sleep apnea and behavioral problems in children. In the journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a major study was written and published by Dr. Karen Bonuck, who said, “We found that children with sleep-disordered breathing were from 40 to 100 percent more likely to develop neurobehavioral problems by age 7, compared with children without breathing problems. The biggest increase was in hyperactivity, but we saw significant increases across [other] behavioral measures.” Therefore, the correct diagnosis of the child’s behavioral problems is critical for the appropriate treatment to be provided to the child. Although sleep apnea requires the official diagnosis of the child’s physician or sleep specialist, a dentist that treats sleep apnea often collaborates with the child’s physician for treatment.
What treatments are available through Hartrick Dentistry to help children suffering from sleep apnea?
Treatment for your child’s sleep apnea will vary, depending on the severity of their condition, and their response to invasive treatments. If your child is older and their jaw growth is complete, there are other treatments available. For example, an oral appliance can be custom-made to fit your child’s teeth that they will wear while sleeping at night. The appliance fits your child’s teeth much like a retainer or a sports mouthguard. Oral appliance therapy can aid in maintaining an open, unobstructed airway through the night.
However, in some cases, the dentist may refer your child to a surgeon for a tonsillectomy, or the removal of the adenoids. Another procedure to help open the airway is to expand the child’s palate or the roof of their mouth through nonsurgical means. This may be accomplished through orthodontic therapy.
Sleep Apnea Screening for Children, Royal Oak
Behavioral problems in children are not caused simply because the child desires to be defiant. Often, there are underlying causes of bad behavior, and it is necessary to accurately diagnose the cause of their behavior. Although ADHD is often diagnosed in children, it could be that an undetected sleep disorder is present and is causing behavioral issues in your child. Therefore, it is important that you express your concern to your child’s physician and request a sleep study be conducted. If the child is officially diagnosed with sleep apnea by their physician or sleep specialist, Hartrick Dentistry can help you find the right treatment that will suit your child’s specific needs. Contact us today at (248) 549-0950 if you are seeking sleep apnea solutions for your child in the Royal Oak or Birmingham area.