Does your Child Snore? Have ADHD? Have Reduced Scholastic Performance? These are common symptoms that are very often noted in children with airway or bite issues. Some things that should be discussed are:
- Does your child snore?
- Seem to exhibit loud or heavy breathing?
- Any TMJ pain?
- Does your child tend to breath through their mouth during the day?
- Exhibit morning headaches?
- Sometimes wake feeling unrefreshed?
- Crooked and narrow teeth?
Why is this important?
Sleep disordered breathing in a child or adult interrupts the individuals ability to get the appropriate amount of oxygen and limits the ability to obtain REM sleep which is essential for brain development and well being. There are numerous studies regarding how detrimental this is to children and yet it remains highly undiagnosed in the medical and dental fields. Take a look at this video of Connor, to understand the importance of proper sleep and oxygen. Taking medications for sleep often exacerbates or causes other problems such as daytime drowsiness.
An assessment should include visual oral evaluation for tongue space, TMJ joints, assessment of upper jaw and lower jaw position in the skull for constriction and airway impingement.
We have seen that correcting these issues in children (and even adults), especially sleep apnea has lead to life changing results for both. Treatment is not just a CPAP machines. Untreated sleep issues have more than just using a machine to help nighttime breathing, these can lead to daytime sleepiness, aggression, irritability , and social issues.
Once diagnosed, and by the way, this is a very highly and commonly overlooked situation, Collaboration with medical physicians is important. Essentially, treatment involves re-establishing proper airway and facial development. Facial development can be expressed in terms of non-surgically developing the anterior premaxilla area to help open the airway and allow proper function of the tongue. Sometimes myofunctional therapy is indicated to help patients redevelop proper tongue and speech patterns. In other instances a tonsillectomy may be indicated as well.
These children can grow into successful adults and treatment for these conditions can be life changing from depression, ADHD, behavorial issues, anger, and restlessness. Treatment is not difficult when guided by skilled professionals. Dentists who have special interest in TMJ and facial development are often a good source of guidance to help navigate this care.
Proper screening is essential to helping these individuals who are often on all types of medications unnecessarily.
If you have any questions regarding Houston TMJ or Houston Tourettes Care, please feel free to contact our office, Ronald W. Konig DDS, FAGD, LVIF,FIAPA, 713-668-2289