Royal Oak and Birmingham, MI
Parents, does your child snore at night? This may seem harmless, but frequent audible snoring in children actually is cause for concern. Unless your child has a cold or congestion from allergies that can block the nasal passageways, this type of frequent snoring is not normal, and you should have your child evaluated by a pediatric sleep apnea doctor in Royal Oak such as Dr. Nancy Hartrick.
Learn about what causes snoring
Snoring occurs when something impedes the passage of air in the throat when you sleep. As air passes around this obstruction, it creates a vibration, which produces the sound you hear when someone snores. In children, the most common causes for snoring include enlarged tonsils and adenoids, impeded nasal breathing because of an enlargement of the inner lining of the bones in the nose, allergies, and a deviated septum. Snoring also can be caused by a narrowing of the airway—either from weight gain or the shape of your child’s airway.
It is estimated that approximately 10 to 20 percent of children snore.
Snoring may be a sign of a sleep breathing disorder in your child
Snoring is considered the major warning sign of a serious sleep breathing disorder called obstructive sleep apnea. Patients who suffer from this disorder experience a blockage of their airway when they sleep. These blockages can be partial or complete, either decreasing airflow or causing total pauses in breathing. Each time one of these breathing interruptions takes place, the brain reacts as if the body is choking and sends warning signals that rouse you from sleep. Most often, a person with sleep apnea never consciously wakes, but these disruptions to the sleep cycle deprive someone of the restoration to mind and body that occur during deepest sleep. Any individual with sleep apnea also experiences hypoxia—the clinical term for a decrease in oxygen levels, which certainly is not healthy for a growing child.
Sleep apnea can provoke a host of different, serious, long-term problems in your child. The potential issues could include difficulty concentrating and performing at school, growth delays, high blood pressure, and chronic daytime fatigue no matter how early their bedtime is. Many children with sleep apnea also exhibit symptoms of a hyperactivity disorder like ADD or ADHD.
A sleep apnea dentist in Royal Oak has the training to diagnose a sleep breathing disorder in your child
Dentists who practice sleep apnea dentistry undergo special post-graduate education focusing on airway management. Your Birmingham sleep apnea dentist at Hartrick Dentistry can perform a sleep study on your child, then analyze the data to detect whether or not he or she is suffering from a sleep breathing disorder.
Pediatric sleep apnea treatment in Royal Oak
In most cases, removal of tonsils and adenoids resolves the airway obstruction that is causing sleep apnea in children. Hartrick Dentistry also can provide your child with an oral appliance, which helps maintain ideal oral resting posture—lips closed, teeth closed, and tongue resting against the palate—to keep an open airway throughout the night. These oral appliances look like the anti-snoring night guards that are available for purchase in stores but are made of higher-quality materials and fabricated from impressions of the mouth to ensure a snug, secure, comfortable fit.
Remember that sleep apnea is a serious condition that will not go away on its own. If your child is snoring, contact the office of Hartrick Dentistry today by calling (248) 549-0950 to schedule a sleep study.
Hartrick Dentistry serves the oral health needs of patients in the areas of Royal Oak and Birmingham in Michigan.