How Your Orthodontist Identifies and Treats Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Does your child seem drowsy during the day? Does he or she snore or wake up breathless in the middle of the night? Your little one may have Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA), a chronic condition wherein breathing stops periodically during sleep because soft tissue is relaxing and obstructing the airway. These periodic stops can happen as many as 20-30 times in an hour, preventing oxygen from reaching the brain and subsequently waking up your child so that they restart proper breathing. All that waking up can leave one pretty sleepy the next day – even if they don’t remember waking up!

Untreated, obstructive sleep apnea can affect school work and overall alertness as well as raise your child’s risk of serious health problems down the road. According to the American Academy of Otolaryngology (ENTs) sleep disordered breathing affects approximately 12 percent of children.

Luckily, sleep apnea is easily treatable. It just needs to be diagnosed. That’s where Dr. Drobocky can partner with you, as parents. If your child has any of the following symptoms, bring them to see us for a free consultation and sleep apnea test.

Here’s what to look for:

  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping (tossing and turning or night sweats)
  • Loud snoring at night
  • Waking up at night short of breath
  • Long pauses in breathing
  • Chronic mouth breathing during sleep
  • Snorting or choking sounds during the night (indicating a restart of breathing)
  • Extreme drowsiness throughout the day
  • Changes in mood, misbehaviour or decline in school performance
  • Hyperactivity or inattention (in some cases children who are diagnosed with ADHD are actually not hyperactive but rather are showing clinical symptoms of pediatric OSA).

Here’s what is causing it:

Children often have narrow upper jaws, which restricts the nasal airway… one of the most significant contributing factors to pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. Early orthodontic treatment to expand the palate is a common strategy in growing children and may prevent sleep apnea but also extraction of healthy teeth as straightening your child’s smile becomes a priority.

Orthodontists are leading specialists in spotting Sleep Apnea early because of our familiarity and expertise working with the soft tissue in children’s mouths. In addition, Drobocky Orthodontics is the only practice in town to use a i-CAT technology to precisely measure your child’s airway to confirm a diagnosis.

While Sleep Apnea can have serious side effects, it’s very easily treatable. The most important thing you can do is pay attention and have your child evaluated. If your child is exhibiting any of these symptoms please come in for a complimentary consultation. We can help with a treatment plan to make sure your kids are sleeping soundly!

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At Drobocky Orthodontics, we make orthodontic treatment affordable by offering multiple payment options including full payment discounts, no-interest payment program, family discounts, and we accept direct payment from most insurance carriers.

Give us a call or click below for complimentary consultation:

Bowling Green: (270) 843-8556
Glasgow: (270) 651-6862
Franklin: (270) 586-7444

We look forward to meeting you!

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