According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, 1 to 4 percent of children suffer from sleep apnea, many between 2 and 8 years old. If your child snores, shows other signs of disturbed sleep, has long pauses in breathing, tosses and turns in bed, has chronic mouth breathing during sleep, or has night sweats caused by an increased effort to breathe, they may want to be diagnosed by a professional for possible sleep apnea.
Studies suggest that 25 percent of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder may have symptoms of obstructive sleep apnea. Several recent studies also show a strong association between pediatric sleep disorders and childhood obesity.
The most common treatment for sleep apnea in children is the surgical removal of the adenoids and tonsils resulting in complete elimination of the condition 70 to 90 percent of the time.
Oral appliances for treatment of pediatric sleep apnea are helpful in some cases, especially in adolescents whose facial bone growth is largely complete.
“Sleep apnea in young children can have profound effects. No child should snore, and if they do consistently, they should see a pediatric ENT physician to evaluate if there is obstructed breathing (sleep apnea). This can and should be treated to prevent learning and developmental problems. The dental effects are during growth of the upper jaw which occurs from birth to 15 years old, but the 4-6 year old period is important. Kids who are obstructed have narrower upper jaws, this changes development of the mid face and also causes bite problems because the palate develops much higher in the mouth, “ said Dr. Steven Acker of Elite Dental.
“Dentists constantly screen for those changes and are usually the first line of defense, “ continued Dr. Acker.
Elite Dental of Staten Island just recently established the Staten Island Snoring & Sleep Apnea Dental Treatment Center within its practice to treat individuals with snoring and sleep apnea, of which it is estimated that 20 million Americans suffer. The Staten Island Snoring & Sleep Apnea Treatment Center will be offering its patient’s Oral Appliance Therapy (OAT), including the Lamberg Sleep Well Appliance, an intraoral appliance worn during sleep that has been proven to be effective in the alleviation of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea. This device is a more comfortable oral appliance than most on the market.. Each device is custom made to ensure a perfect fit and maximum comfort.