Children and Sleep Apnea

In children, airway issues must be identified and treated as early as possible.” — Dr. J.C. Quintero, DMD, in Dental Sleep Practice

Sleep apnea is commonly considered an adult problem. While it is true that the majority of cases involve mature individuals, for many patients the physiological problems they face were with them in childhood or a direct result of their pattern of growth and development as a youngster. Therefore, as we increase our awareness of sleep disorders and their challenges, more doctors and dentists are seeing patients at very young ages who present the symptoms of sleep apnea. For many of these children, dental techniques can improve the shape of their palate and airways to prevent existing or future complications with both their bite and sleep apnea.

Signs of Constricted Airways in Children

If your child has any of the following symptoms, you should discuss them with one of our Sacramento dentists at your earliest opportunity:

  • Regular snoring,
  • Mouth breathing, instead of breathing through the nose,
  • Lethargic disposition,
  • Difficulty concentrating and short attention span,
  • A narrow mouth or smile,
  • Crowded teeth, even before permanent teeth erupt.

Snoring, daytime lethargy and a narrow airway all potentially indicate a lack of oxygen due to physiological limitations. Fortunately, these problems can be corrected. Indeed, doing so is easier with children, since their bones are still actively growing.

The Solution for Childhood Sleep Apnea

The dental solution to all of these symptoms may lie with one or a combination of the following therapies: orthodontics, palate expansion (with palate expanders or “spreaders”), oral appliances. All of these therapies are available from the Sacramento Dentistry Group. Both orthodontics and the specific technique of spreading the palate use the body’s own mechanisms to encourage the bones to grow to ideal dimensions. We now recognize that this can provide benefits not just for the teeth, but also to ease breathing, both during the day and at night.

Acting now, instead of later, helps guarantee your child a better life now and in the future. If these techniques and diagnoses were available decades ago, many of today’s sleep apnea sufferers would have been treated in childhood. With payment and credit plans available to help cover any costs not met by your insurance, our Sacramento dentists want to make sure that your young ones receive the treatment they need. Request a consultation today to improve your child’s future. Call 916-538-6900, use the link below to make an appointment or stop by the office at 1105 E Street in downtown Sacramento.

Schedule Your Sleep Apnea Consultation