Sleep apnea is often associated with adults. But, the truth is, pediatric sleep apnea affects 1-4 percent of children. The majority of children who suffer from the condition are between 2-8 years old. If you believe your child is suffering from pediatric sleep apnea, read on to see how a kids dentist in Indianapolis can help. What is Pediatric Sleep Apnea? Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea, also known as OSA, is a sleep disorder in which a child’s upper airway is either partially or fully blocked. Pediatric sleep apnea prevents proper airflow by briefly and repeatedly causing a child’s breathing to stop as they sleep. The condition prevents a whole and restorative night’s sleep. Pediatric sleep apnea symptoms vary case by case and can be as mild as your child grinding their teeth and snoring, but can be as severe as tossing and turning all night, mouth breathing, long pauses between breaths, night sweats, night terrors, and even bedwetting. Pediatric sleep apnea can also cause behavioral problems, and many kids with the condition are misdiagnosed with ADHD. There are several causes of pediatric sleep apnea. Several causes for the condition, including:•Family history of sleep apnea-Sleep apnea, are genetic conditions passed down from mom or dad. This happens because kids tend to inherit the facial features of their parents.
•High body mass index-Adult OSA generally affects people who are older and overweight. Likewise, child obesity has been associated with pediatric OSA
.•Abnormal oral tissues-Abnormally restrictive oral tissues known as frenum can impact how well a child sleeps. This condition is more commonly known as lip and tongue ties. It can impair the tongue’s function, which is especially important for proper breathing.
•Narrow mouth, jaw, or throat-As a child (or anyone) falls asleep, all of their muscles relax, including the mouth, jaw, and throat. If a child already has a narrow airway and a relatively large tongue, the airway can quickly become obstructed when relaxed.
•Enlarged tonsils and adenoids-Enlarged tonsils and adenoids can also play a role in preventing proper airflow during the night.
Getting Treated for Sleep Apnea at a Kids Dental Center The good news is that there are several treatment options for pediatric sleep apnea, including allergy medications, weight loss and management, inhalers, and tonsil adenoidectomy. A pediatric dentist can also perform oral appliance therapy, including palate expanders, to treat the condition. These expanders work by gently helping the upper jaw grow wider to open the airway by increasing both upper jaw size and airflow via the nose. If you are growing increasingly worried about your child’s loud snoring, constant fatigue, and behavioral problems, contact a children’s dentist in IN today. Every child is different, and the most critical first step is a proper diagnosis from a pediatric dentist. If you are looking for a dentist office for kids, look no further than Speedway Pediatric Dentistry. We are a pediatric dentist located in Indianapolis. At Speedway Pediatric Dentistry in Indianapolis, we value education as an integral part of our core values. This is something we take very seriously, not only for ourselves on a professional level but also for making sure that our parents and children are educated on what we do and why we do it.