For Your Dental Health

Snoring In Children

The prevalence of snoring in children ranges from 10% to 21% from 6 to 81 months. Habitual snoring is documented in17% of pediatric patients and this percentage increases in children with neurological problems or psychiatric problems. Snoring is an indication of obstructive sleep apnea. In general population 2-3% of children have apnea. This proportion is growing more with the increase in childhood obesity. What is apnea? Apnea in children is events lasting longer than two missed breaths and most commonly associated with some change in oxygen concentration. Snoring and mouth breathing in children were initially thought of as not harmful habits but more recently it has been associated that these children have a higher risk of social problems, poor academic performance, decreased attention and anxiety and depression issues. Children who snore are not likely to grow out of it and the neurocognitive and behavioral damage from snoring in children is related to the fact that their brains are still growing. Dentist have a unique role in early identification of the Sleep-disordered breathing or SDB, especially in children as these children have abnormal facial growth resulting in orthodontic problems and sleep-related teeth grinding as well.
Sleep-disordered breathing or SDB may create facial growth changes and these skeletal alterations can further worsen the sleep-disordered breathing. Head and facial maturity is about 60% complete in children by the time they are 4 years of age but the tonsils and adenoids begin to grow more in size when children are two and half years old and get to increase greatest in size by 6 years causing additional airway blockage. In our body, soft tissue and muscles that cover the bone influence the pattern of bone growth. Therefore the facial muscles and the tongue tone create a framework for normal development of the nose and jaws. In children with SDB these muscles are weak causing narrow palate and small jaws and this amplifies the difficulty in breathing. Mouth breathers typically have a smaller upper airway size. Sometimes when the tonsils and adenoids get extremely bigger in size it causes more airway blockage. These children tend to have long and thin face along with small jaws and an open bite. The dentist is in the best position to diagnose these conditions in children. Identifying the facial growth changes early in development may help resolve the orthodontic issues by getting the proper treatment as soon as possible. Therefore it is extremely important to get children to see the dentist early on as the impact of SDB in growing children can be serious and proper treatment can help prevent further complications.

Apollo Dental Care is the dental office of Dr. Sue Padavettan, D.D.S. Dr. Sue has 15 years of experience in dentistry. Graduated from USC with outstanding achievement award for restorative dentistry and was elected member of Honor Dental Society by the Zeta Chapter and is an active member and ADA, CDA and CCDS. Apollo Dental Care supports Heritage Patriots & East County Little League.
Apollo Dental Care is located at 4530 Balfour Rd. Suite C in Brentwood. They can be contacted at 925-634-5061.