Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB)
Has your child been diagnosed with ADHD? Do they snore, have frequent headaches, or suffer from asthma? These are all potential symptoms associated with sleep-disordered breathing (SDB), a condition that causes reduced breathing, and even stops completely, during sleep. Studies show that up to 9 out of 10 children show at least some symptoms of SDB.
Fortunately, early diagnosis and treatment of SDB in children can permanently eliminate the condition and many of its symptoms. If you suspect your child is suffering from sleep-disordered breathing, you can schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Bergida. He’ll make sure your child receives the right treatment for their issues.
Understanding Your Child’s Airway
The average 7-year-old has an airway that is 7 mm in diameter. This allows for 100% airflow, which is important during sleep as well as during the day.
However, behaviors such as mouth breathing or conditions like enlarged tonsils can reduce the size of the airway, sometimes to as little as 1 mm, leading to a significant reduction in airflow. Studies show that this SDB-induced oxygen deprivation can lead to a range of childhood issues.
Sleep-Related Breathing Disorder (SRBD)
Sleep-Disordered Breathing (SDB) is also referred to as Sleep-Related Breathing Disorder (SRBD) and includes a range of breathing issues such as habitual snoring and obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It can affect both adults and children.
SRBD Symptoms in Children
The lack of sleep, and oxygen, caused by SRBD can manifest in many symptoms and behaviors, including:
- Restless Sleep
- Frequently Waking During the Night
- Daytime Drowsiness
- Dark Circles Under the Eyes
- Frequent Headaches
- Chronic Allergies
- Swollen Adenoids and Tonsils
- Arrested Growth
- Crooked Teeth
- Mouth Breathing
- ADD / ADHD
- Aggressive Behavior and Irritability
- Lower IQ
- Difficulty in School, Low Grades, Especially in Math and Spelling
Unfortunately, kids who display some of the above symptoms are misdiagnosed and given unnecessary drugs that don’t get to the root cause of their issues.
Proper Diagnosis and Early Treatment is Critical
It’s important to get your child the treatment they need while they’re still young and their bodies are able to adjust and mold easily. If the underlying cause of SRBD is left untreated, many of the related symptoms, such as mouth breathing, aggressive behavior, or lower IQ can persist into adulthood. At this point, there is often little that can be done to correct these symptoms.
Dr. Bergida uses the HealthyStart® system that’s designed to treat such issues while children’s mouths are still developing.
Treatment With The HealthyStart® System
Based on 50 years of research, the HealthyStart system of early orthodontic treatment is designed to fix the root cause of SDB. Oftentimes, SDB is caused by certain oral behaviors or the improper development of the jawbone and teeth.
With HealthyStart®, we can straighten your child’s teeth and prevent the symptoms associated with SDB, all without braces.
The HealthyStart® system addresses:
- Symptoms of SRBD
- Development of the teeth, jaws, and facial profile
- Expansion of the dental arch to create room for all permanent teeth
- Opening the airway for proper breathing
- Promoting nasal breathing
- Positioning and training the tongue for correct placement
- Correcting tongue thrust
- Eliminating bad oral habits like finger or thumb sucking
- Teaching proper swallowing
- Straightening the teeth to correct overbite, overjet, crowding, gummy smile, and cross-bite
How HealthyStart® Works – Oral Appliance Therapy
The HealthyStart® system uses oral appliance therapy to guide the development of your child’s jawbone, airway, and dentition to optimize airflow and promote proper nasal breathing. All while creating a straighter smile.
HealthyStart® appliances offer a non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical, non-invasive, and pain-free treatment method. They’re worn at night (or as directed) and as treatment progresses, many of the symptoms of SDB are eliminated.
HealthyStart® appliances are:
- FDA Cleared
- BPA, Silicone, and Latex Free
- ISO Certified
- A Health Canada Class II Medical-Grade Device
When children can breathe fully and get the restful sleep they need, they’re able to learn, grow, and blossom into their true potential.
Get Your Child the Treatment They Need
If you suspect your child is suffering from a sleep-related breathing disorder, contact Kew Dental Sleepcare in Queens, NY to schedule a complimentary consultation. Dr. Bergida is experienced at treating sleep apnea, snoring, and other sleep-related breathing disorders in both adults and children. He’ll find the right treatment so both you and your child can rest easy.
Call Dr. Bergida at (718) 849-9472 today to learn more about your treatment options. You can also fill out the easy form at the bottom of the page and we’ll get right back to you.
Frequently Asked Questions About Breathing Disorders in Children
What Causes Sleep-Disordered Breathing in Children?
Sleep-disordered breathing in children is caused by a compromised airway. With a smaller airway, the child may snore or stop breathing altogether, causing them to wake up frequently during the night.
Over 20 years of research links these issues to crooked and crowded teeth, poor bite, and improper craniofacial development. With the proper treatment from Dr. Bergida, your child doesn’t have to suffer from the symptoms associated with sleep-disordered breathing.
How Common is Sleep Apnea in Children?
It is estimated that between 1 to 4 percent of children suffer from sleep apnea, a sleep disorder characterized by frequent stops in breathing during sleep. What is much more prevalent is a reduction in breathing and frequent interruptions in sleep that don’t rise to the severity of sleep apnea but can result in a multitude of symptoms.
If we suspect your child has sleep apnea, Dr. Bergida will refer him or her to a local sleep specialist for an evaluation.
Why is Thumb Sucking Bad?
Thumb sucking is bad because it can cause many problems with the growth of the jawbone and alignment of the teeth, especially as your child’s permanent teeth start coming in. It can also change the shape of the roof of the mouth, or palate. These changes can lead to speech and bite problems, in addition to a compromised airway that may cause sleep-disordered breathing.
You can discourage your child from sucking their thumb by following these guidelines:
- Use positive reinforcement. Give your child praise, or a small reward, when they aren’t sucking their thumb.
- Determine their triggers. If your child sucks their thumb when they’re stressed or scared, provide the comfort they need in other ways such as a hug.
- Give gentle reminders. It’s ok to gently remind your child to stop when you see them sucking their thumb, but don’t scold, ridicule, or criticize.
Unfortunately, many parents find that these measures have a very low success rate. Dr. Bergida’s appliances are designed to address thumb sucking as well as sleep disordered breathing.