Children and breathing/sleep disorders

Most people associate snoring and sleep apnoea with adults, but it has become a major issue for an increasing number of children.

Most parents don’t realise that mouth breathing isn’t just a childish feature that they will ‘grow out’ of.  It becomes an ingrained habit that can result in deformities of the facial structure, contributes to airway problems and infections, reduces the oxygen in the blood  – and exacerbates snoring and sleep apnoea.

All of this impacts on sleep and the level of oxygen in the blood and can wreak daytime havoc with sleepiness, memory and cognitive issues – that is, with the child’s ability to learn and enjoy school activities. This may be accompanied by behavioural problems that are sometimes misdiagnosed as ADHD.

So what to do?

1. Knowledge is key – be informed!

If your child snores heavily…

This video may be helpful for parents to understand why snoring is so harmful for your child, and identify whether she/she may be suffering from sleep apnoea:

If your child has learning and behavioural issues…

This video by the American Academy of Physiological Medicine & Dentistry (AAPMD) may be helpful to understand the impact of dysfunctional breathing for the child, and the potential for misdiagnosis.

 Related pages

Please read our pages on snoring and sleep apnoea which have specific information about how they are caused in children.

Articles

We have articles about mouth breathing and other habits in children that result in major issues:

Child mouth breathing

What causes mouth-breathing and why does it matter?
The causes of mouth-breathing in adults and children

Mouth breathing

Mouth breathing in children
The adverse effects on facial growth, health, learning and behaviour.

Young girl sucking her thumb

How some childhood habits can affect facial beauty
The perils of thumb-sucking and other habits

2. Seek professional guidance

Nowadays there are treatment approaches to help children who have breathing and sleep disorders. This can require the coordinated input of several therapies and practitioners that may include: Sleep Physician, Dentist, Breathing Therapist, ENT Surgeon, Allergies expert, Naturopath.

It all starts with careful diagnosis. Our page about integrative diagnosis and treatment may be helpful to give you an overview and understand how the various pieces fit together.

Our dentists are experienced in sleep and breathing related problems in children, and we work synergistically with other practitioners.

Call us at Lotus Dental in Sydney on 02 9953 5153 or send us an email to make an appointment. We will identify the cause of the problem and discuss appropriate treatment options for your child.