Did you know that pediatric obstructive sleep apnea affects between 1 and 4 percent of children? While that may not seem extensive, it actually represents about 7 to 9 million children in the U.S. population. According to the American Academy of Pediatric Dentistry (AAPD), signs of untreated Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea (POSA) in school-aged children can include neurocognitive dysfunction such as aggressive behavior, symptoms that resemble attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, deteriorating school performance, bedwetting, developmental delay, and reduced quality of life. Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) the overarching category of sleep disorders affects 12 to 15 percent of children.
Often, the pediatric dentist can see the first signs of a sleep related disorder as swelling of the tonsils and adenoids are indicators. However, symptoms aren’t necessarily organized, so SDB’s often go misdiagnosed. 34 percent of children snore, but not all of them will have an SDB making it even more difficult to pinpoint. Other common symptoms include excessive daytime sleepiness, loud snoring three or more nights per week, episodes of breathing cessation witnessed by another person, abrupt awakenings accompanied by shortness of breath, awakening with dry mouth or sore throat, morning headache, difficulty staying asleep, attention problems, mouth breathing, sweating, restlessness, waking up a lot.
If your child is experiencing any of the above symptoms or a combination thereof, talk to Dr. Chambliss about whether your child may be experiencing an SDB.
The good news is, there are several nonsurgical interventions that are curative. These include breathing apparatus, nasal steroids, weight loss, oral appliances, and supplemental oxygen.
Learn more at: https://aadsm.org/docs/jdsm.10.10.18.rv1.pdf
Medplex Pediatric Dentistry serves as a top rated pediatric dentist for Alabaster, Birmingham, Hoover, Helena, and Pelham, AL.