The Dentist’s Function in Children’s Sleep Apnea
The dentist can be crucial in diagnosing and treating pediatric sleep apnea. The dentist can confirm daytime and nighttime symptoms and perform a physical examination to detect any physical characteristics that increase the risk of sleep apnea. The dental professional may also suggest polysomnography, a sleep study that is painless and noninvasive.
Oral Appliance Therapy
A child should undergo a thorough examination by a sleep dentist. The dentist should be board-certified in dental sleep medicine. The evaluation will include an examination of the mouth, teeth, and jaw structure. The dentist may take intraoral and extraoral photographs. The dentist must rule out any contraindications to this treatment.
While there are no clear-cut cures for pediatric sleep apnea, oral appliances may be recommended by a sleep dentist. These devices can expand the upper airway and reduce snoring. The results are similar to those of a CPAP device. However, oral appliance therapy has not been proven effective as CPAP. Although some children benefit from this therapy, several other factors contribute to sleep-disordered breathing.
Among the many benefits of oral appliance therapy for pediatric sleep apnea, the main benefit is that it is non-invasive. The child wears a device similar to an orthodontic retainer before bed. The appliance helps keep the airway open and prevents the child from snoring during sleep. These appliances can also work as a sleep apnea treatment for children Los Angeles CA and as preventive measures against future dental problems.
Teledontics is a non-surgical treatment that is aimed at treating obstructive sleep apnea. It involves nonrestrictive appliances that are three-dimensional. The goal is to increase airway space and reduce headgear while providing the same benefits for the child as a conventional appliance. This therapy is proven to be highly effective.
While traditional orthodontics can treat cosmetic issues, teledontics focuses on helping children breathe better while they sleep and awake. In addition to treating the underlying conditions, telematics focuses on the mind-body connection and encourages proper diet and physical activity habits.
Traditional orthodontics is still a valuable treatment option for crooked teeth, jaw, and TMJ discrepancies. However, traditional orthodontics fails to recognize the link between upper airway health, facial structures, and the oral cavity. Traditional orthodontics does not address these relationships, so it is only a good option for children with mild to moderate cases of sleep apnea.
In children, there are a variety of issues that can lead to sleep apnea. For instance, enlarged tonsils and adenoids can contribute to obstructive sleep apnea. Teledontics can help treat this problem by correcting the jaw so the airway can open up.
Sleep apnea is a severe problem that can threaten a child’s development. It can lead to neurological damage and a range of sleep-related problems. In addition, untreated OSA can lead to other health problems, including cardiovascular disease, hypertension, and obesity. Among children, around one in six suffers from OSA. The disorder can also be hereditary, so the dentist’s role is crucial for detecting it early.
Dentists are well-placed to identify patients with OA. They can also inform parents about the risks of OSA and the need for an assessment. Children with OAs should visit a family physician for a sleep assessment.
In addition to screening children for OSA, dentists can also provide treatment. Dentists can effectively treat patients suffering from OSA by adjusting the developing craniofacial structure. These therapies can have long-term benefits. The dentist can make a life-changing difference for patients with OSA.
Myofunctional therapy is effective in treating pediatric sleep apnea. This treatment uses your child’s muscles to expand their airways during sleep. Children with narrow airways are at a greater risk of developing this disorder. Not only does this make it difficult for the body to breathe in oxygen, but it also has other health implications.
The therapy works by strengthening the muscles of the oropharynx and tongue. Strengthening these muscles helps the child breathe better and lessens snoring. Additionally, this therapy will improve eating and swallowing as well. The soft palate and back of the tongue will be strengthened, opening up the airway.
This treatment is not surgery and can be started at home. However, it is essential to consult a healthcare provider before attempting this treatment. A physician can refer you to a myofunctional therapist if necessary. The therapist will evaluate your condition and determine whether myofunctional therapy is an appropriate treatment.