How to Know if your Child has Sleep Apnea

dental kids sleep apnea applianceThere is no reason to watch your child struggle with sleep apnea. And you should not accept band-aid treatments such as CPAP when treatments that cure pediatric sleep apnea exist. Dr. Adams has special dental appliances for kids who have sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing. Stop mouth breathing and sleep problems for your child once and all. Lifelong health benefits are ahead for kids who have these problems successfully treated.

Symptoms of Sleep Apnea and Mouth Breathing in Kids:

Open Mouth at Rest

Child’s usual resting posture includes an open mouth position at rest. For example, if while reading or watching a movie, the mouth is open most of the time.

Tall Narrow Face and Reverse Chin position

Look at your kid’s profile from the side and see if the chin position is in towards the throat and set back. This position is called a “retrognathic” jaw position. Retrognathic jaws are closer to the airway. Since the jaw is closer to the airway, so is the tongue. Tongues are known to be the most likely structure in the mouth and throat to obstruct the airway.

Bags Under the Eyes

Bags under the eyes are a tell tale sign of poor sleep and sometimes poor blood supply to the facial structures. When facial and jaw structures are poorly developed, blood supply may not be as good and baggy, bluish skin may be observed.

Poor Spacing Between Baby Teeth or Crowding of Adult Teeth

Crowding and crooked teeth are a big sign of facial under development. Baby teeth are supposed to have spacing to allow for larger adult teeth to fit.

Frequent Stuffy Noses, Allergies Poor Nasal Breathing

The upper jaw bone is the bottom of the nose where nasal breathing happens. If your child has a deep narrow palate, the chances are their nasal breathing is poor. Most children with poor nasal breathing are kids who are mouth breathers.

Dry Chapped Lips

Kids who mouth breath will air-out and dry their lips.

Swollen Tonsils and Adenoids

Mouth breathing in children is a big problem. The increased air passing through the mouth (instead of the nose) drys out the tonsils and adenoids. This causes inflammation, swelling and infection in tonsils and adenoids. It also shuts down the eustachian tube, causing ear problem too.

Tongue Tie

The tongue stimulates growth of the jaw and facial structures by putting pressure on growing children’s mouths. When the tongue is tied down, it cannot promote growth (expand the jaws). This leads to poor nasal breathing and mouth breathing in kids.

Snoring and Loud Breathing at Night

Snoring is proof of a pediatric airway obstruction. Loud breathing is a sign of a small or obstructed airway.

Forward head posture

Mouth breathers have poor posture including forward head position

Facial Muscles Moving on Swallowing

when the tongue is tied, other muscles will work during swallowing. The muscles pull on bones and deform them.

Teeth Clenching

Kids who mouth breath and have airway problems at night will also clench their teeth

Pacifiers, Baby Bottles, Thumbs, Oral Habits

Can push the teeth and jaw structures and deform them to be the shape of whatever is going into their mouths. We clearly do not want a mouth to be the shape of a thumb or small baby bottle.

Nightmares, Bedwetting, Poor Sleep

Airway problems produce sleep disordered breathing, sleep problems. And bad dreams and nightmares. Kids can get so stressed that they pee and wet the bed.

Daytime Tiredness or ADHD-like Behavior

If your child does not get sleep, of course they will be tired during the day. They may do things like fall asleep in the car or watching exciting movies. Sometimes kids will go the other way and just act super crazy due to sleeplessness.

Drooling and Loud Eating

Let the competition begin between food and air going through the mouth. And the lips, cheeks and tongue will be slapping and slurping.

And, of course, Crowded, Crooked Teeth

The DNA design of every child is to have mouth and jaw structure large enough to teeth and tongues to fit properly. When tongues are tied, the mouth breathing and teeth/jaw problems start. It is that simple.

Many appliances exist for treating cooked and crowded teeth in kids. ALF appliance and Schwarz appliance are two examples that are alternatives to braces. The DNA appliance is a very common appliance for the treatment of adult sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint disorder.

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