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Sleep Apnea

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Children and Sleep Disordered Breathing

Only in the last 20 years has research established the connection between certain common childhood health issues and a single likely root. – Sleep Disorderd Breathing (SDB)

“An estimated nine out of ten children suffer from one or more symptoms related to Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB).” – JAOS, Bergersen / Stevens

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These children experience a wide range of debilitating SDB- related health disorders, such as:

● ADD/ADHD
● Lower IQ
● Chronic Allergies
● Aggressive Behavior
● Mouth Breathing
● Swollen Adenoids & Tonsils
● Daytime Drowsiness
● Crooked Teeth
● Restless Sleep
● Bedwetting
● Nightmares
● Dark Circles Under the Eyes
● Snoring
● Irritability
● Frequent Headaches
● Arrested Growth
● Low Grades in Math, Science, & Spelling

The symptoms associated with SDB can vary from one child to the next, but even mild SDB (mouth breathing, crowded teeth, snoring) can point to serious underlying health issues and the need for treatment.

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Pediatric sleep disorders impact a child’s behavioral, cognitive, and physical development, with long-term consequences (Bonuck, Parikh, & Bassila, 2006; Montgomery & Dunne, 2007).

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Children with SDB are 40 to 100 percent more likely to exhibit behavioral and emotional problems, including hyperactivity, anxiety, depression, social issues with peers, and conduct problems, including aggressiveness (Bonuck, 2012).

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Children with cross bites (misaligned upper and lower teeth) are 3.3 times more likely to suffer from SDB, while children with convex facial profiles (i.e. receding chins) are 2.6 times more likely (Finland Study 2013, published in European Journal of Pediatrics).

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pediatric dentistry and orthodontics matthews and dai spring tx services sleep apnea sdb underlying condition that gives rise to health issues
The research is clear – SDB is the underlying condition that often gives rise to many childhood health issues.

Children with wide, forward dental arches who breathe through their nose sleep better, and children who sleep better perform better in school, behave better, and experience fewer health issues.

Unfortunately, childhood sleep disorders are becoming far more prevalent among our youth, and far too many parents and healthcare providers are unaware of the dire consequences.

Early Treatment is Critical

If these abnormal conditions are left untreated in children, by the time they are fully grown, there is little that can be done to correct them. All too often, teeth become overly crowded and extractions are prescribed, followed by years of braces. Eventually, many of these children will grow into adults with SDB, who may eventually require CPAP machines to obtain the oxygen they need at night – all because their airways were never allowed to fully develop.

By expanding the entire anatomy of the upper and lower jaws, the airway can expand and develop to its full potential. If treatment intervention occurs during a child’s critical growing years, many of the symptoms associated with SDB greatly diminish or simply disappear.

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pediatric dentistry and orthodontics matthews and dai spring tx services sleep apnea oral appliance guides system

Oral Appliance Guides System

We use oral appliance therapy that promotes natural growth and development, which addresses the root causes of SDB. Research has shown that SDB-induced oxygen deprivation is a major contributing factor to the childhood health disorders shown above.

Many kids with the above health disorders are being “treated” with powerful drugs without evaluating a possible root cause. Our office can evaluate your child and indicate if there is a breathing and sleeping issue. Please take the sleep and speech questionnaire to make an initial evaluation of your child.

The oral appliances not only address the root cause of Sleep Disorder Breathing it simultaneously straightens your child’s teeth without braces. Best of all, when treatment begins early, the perfect smiles that the appliances create are less likely to relapse!

Before and After Healthy Start

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Lower Arch Crowding

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Under Developed Jaw

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Over Jet

How Can It Help?

The oral appliances have been specifically designed to promote the proper growth and development of the jaw and airway to optimize airflow and promote proper nasal breathing while straightening your child’s teeth. As these areas develop many of the symptoms of Sleep Disordered Breathing disappear. When kids can breathe properly, they can begin to learn, grow, and blossom into their true genetic potential … just as nature intended.

Is it safe?

Treatment with the oral appliances promotes natural growth and development and is safe and effective. It is non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical, pain-free and non-invasive therapy, is soft, comfortable and worn at night (or as directed) to assist parents who struggle with children affected by Sleep-Related Breathing Disorder, a restricted airway and crowded or crooked teeth.

They are FDA Cleared, BPA, Silicone and Latex Free, ISO Certified, and a Health Canada Class II Medical-Grade Device.

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pediatric dentistry and orthodontics matthews and dai spring tx services sleep apnea happier and healthier

Happier and Healthier

We hope to create healthier, happier kids who can breathe. Rarely has there ever been a single appliance or system with the power to impact your child’s health in so many positive ways.

As a parent, you owe it to your child to give them every chance to succeed. Call today for more information on how to help children achieve their full potential.

Bedwetting and your Child’s Dental Development. How are they connected?

Bedwetting can be caused by a compromised airway which can lead to Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). Over just the past 20 years, compelling research from around the world has forged important links between SDB and certain childhood health issues that plague as many as 9 out of 10 children.

The Importance of Your Child’s Airway. What are the side effects of a compromised airway?

The central issue for many children suffering from the effects of SDB is a compromised airway. When a child’s airway is narrow, underdeveloped, or constricted in any way, the child will struggle to get enough oxygen at night and may resort to mouth breathing. Bringing the upper and lower jaws forward while making them wider can help open up the airway of a growing child.

Dangers of Mouth Breathing, Why is it a problem?

Mouth breathing is different from nasal breathing and often leads to further compromises in the airway. Mouth breathing is often cited as a contributing factor in a compromised airway, and in patients who require orthodontic treatment. It can also prevent the proper function of the tongue and other orofacial muscles children need to speak, swallow, chew, and function. Mouth breathing can also cause the delicate tissues of the tonsils and adenoids to swell and become enlarged, which can further restrict the airway and thus perpetuate the cycle of needing to mouth breathe.

“We believe elimination of oral breathing, i.e., restoration of nasal breathing during wake and sleep, may be the only valid “finish line” in pediatric sleep disordered breathing.” C. Guilleminault, S. Sullivan, 2014 – Stanford University

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pediatric dentistry and orthodontics matthews and dai spring tx services sleep apnea the dental connection

The Dental Connection

Many young children with SDB have dental arches that are underdeveloped, narrow, and positioned too far back. A normal human profile should have the lips and chin positioned well in front of the eyes with a strong jawline. Unfortunately, in most cases, such growth and development doesn’t happen on its own.

In our modern world of limited breastfeeding and soft, processed foods, far too many of our children are simply not developing fully in their lower facial areas. If allowed to persist during their formative early years, this condition prevents proper growth and development of a child’s airway.

Call Matthews & Dai, your local dentist, at 281.915.4324 to schedule an appointment today!