One must have noticed some of the following signs and symptoms of sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) in their child. Poor school performance, sluggishness or sleepiness (often misinterpreted as laziness in the classroom), some behavioral school/social problems, nasal voice when speaking, inward movement of the ribcage when inhaling (sounds like asthma), unusual sleeping positions, such as sleeping on the hands and knees, or with a hyperextended neck, excessive sweating at night, learning and behavioral disorders (such as hyperactivity, attention deficits, aggression, not verbal, irritable, impulsivity), bedwetting (nocturnal enuresis), snoring, bruxism (grinding teeth), trouble waking up in the morning, mouth breathing during the day and or night, complaining of dry mouth after a night’s sleep, one may have also noticed pauses, gasps or noticed their child stop breathing while sleeping, falling off the growth curve, obesity and headaches.
Inadequate sleep can affect children in many ways. The American Academy of Sleep Medicine recommends the following hours of sleep for children:
3-6 years old: 10-12 hours per day
7-12 years old: 10-11 hours per day
12-18 years old: 8-9 hours per day
What can one do if they suspect their child having SDB?
They can call their orthodontist for an initial assessment. There are several orthodontic conditions and problems, including SDB, that can benefit from interceptive (growth modification) orthodontics. An orthodontist is able to identify certain facial characteristics in children that can be indicative of SDB such as Brachycephalic head (the head appears wider than long), narrow upper and/or lower jaw, dental crossbite, receded chin (underdeveloped lower jaw), jaw sized discrepancies, large tongue, crowded teeth, low muscle tone, e.g. soft palate, large tonsils or adenoids, deviated nasal septum, darkness or bagginess under eyes.
Orthodontists are specialists, who are trained to detect such oral manifestations of SDB.
If the orthodontist sees manifestations of sleep-disordered breathing, she/he may make a recommendation for seeing a sleep specialist (medical doctor) who may suggest a sleep study to make an appropriate diagnosis and treatment plan.
In addition to seeing a sleep specialist, the orthodontist may recommend seeing their pediatrician or ENT. Sleep studies are normally performed in a sleep center or at a sleep lab and could involve an overnight stay.
How can one find a sleep specialist?
If one needs assistance in finding a sleep specialist, numerous organizations can assist:
American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM)
American Board of Sleep Medicine (ABSM)
American Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine (AADSM)
Total number of YES responses ___________
If eight or more statements are answered with “yes,” consider referring for sleep evaluation.
CHERVINE ET AL, PEDIATRIC SLEEP QUESTIONNAIRE: VALIDITY AND RELIABILITY OF SCALES FOR SLEEP DISORDERED BREATHING, SNORING, SLEEPINESS, AND BEHAVIORAL PROBLEMS, SLEEP MEDICINE 2000;1:21-32
Company Name: Roland Park Orthodontics
Contact Person: Dr. Dina Sanchez
Email: Send Email
Phone: (410) 296-4400
Country: United States