Sleep Apnea in children is a very serious issue and can lead to behavorial and learning disorders. Orthodontic, tmj issues, and craniofacial abnormalities are often present in children with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and often are not diagnosed or recognized.
Some symptoms that are often seen in children with OSA are:
-dark circles under ones eyes
Parents often report kids with some of these symptoms as having light snoring and snoring sometimes along with teeth grinding (bruxism) and sometimes nightmares. There are other things that can cause sleep apnea, however, these are very common. Mouth breathing is very detrimental to ones overall health.
Therapy’s such as non-surgical palatal expansion have been reported as helpful in correcting these issues. Sometimes tonsillectomies are also beneficial. Every case is different and should be evaluated carefully.
In our practice, which is primarily a TMJ or TMD practice, these issues are very common. Something that is overlooked is oral myofunctional therapy. After expansion or tonsillectomies, patients often retain their mouth breathing habits that they acquired before treatment. This will affect their health long term as well as any orthodonitic treatment.