Phone (513) 251-5500
July 29th, 2015

What You Didn’t Know About Sleep Apnea in Toddlers & Kids

Category: cincinnati dentist, dental health

hagen dental dds

Do you know what the signs of sleep apnea in children are?

Signs of disturbed sleep in our children and toddlers include:

  • Snoring
  • Long pauses in breathing
  • Tossing and turning in bed
  • Chronic mouth breathing while asleep
  • Night sweats
  • Waking up with headaches or irritability
  • Daytime hyperactivity
  • Difficulty concentrating

Whether it’s a child that just seems much too sleepy throughout the day, or one that always has “bags” under her eyes, there are lots of other subtle signs that some degree of sleep apnea might be occurring in our kids.

Interrupted Sleep is Just as Bad for Adults as it is For Kids

The term “sleep apnea” is actually derived from the Greek word that means “without breath.” Just as it sounds, it is a serious condition! Just think: our children can actually be pausing their breathing cycles as they sleep.

For children between 2 and 8—and even beyond these years—having disturbed or interrupted sleep can have major implications on their health. Some research has even suggested that sleep disordered breathing directly impacts cognitive flexibility, self-monitoring, planning, organization, and self-regulation of affect and arousal in our children. Pediatric sleep disorders not only wreak a heavy toll on our children’s ability to thrive, but it’s not guaranteed that kids will just “outgrow” their sleep disorders.

If you suspect that your child might have sleep apnea or some kind of disturbed sleep, let us know. The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea are actually more common in children than you may realize. Of course, sometimes, it might not mean sleep apnea, but you can schedule an appointment with Dr. Hagen to find out.

The Diagnosis of Sleep Apnea by Dr. Hagen

One solution, whether your child suffers from snoring, sleep apnea, or a combination, is using a custom-fit dental sleep appliance. As recommended by The American Academy of Sleep Medicine, this is a treatment that can greatly help children.

At Hagen Dental, we can diagnose and assess the severity of any form of pediatric obstructive sleep apnea. After we take a look at your symptoms as well as risk factors, we can construct the appropriate sleep appliance that is best for you/your child.

The Mandibular Advancement Device, also known as MAD, is comparable to an athletic mouth guard. The Tongue Retraining Device, TRD, is a splint that will hold your child’s tongue in place while they sleep.

You will be able to have a solution that is small, light, and easy to put in and take out—which means children will actually use it. The goal of both devices is to keep the airways open as much as possible throughout the night. More than 90 percent of those who use the sleep appliance have successful improvement.

Over time, these devices are adjusted as needed. Besides seeing an improvement in sleep in many those who wear the small devices, many are also able to reduce or eliminate their snoring altogether! For kids, this can have great effects on their health and quality of sleep for a lifetime.

Ready to learn more? We would be happy to answer any of your questions: give us a call today at (513) 251-5500.

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