Is your child an open-mouth breather? Does she snore in her sleep? Are you noticing he has speech issues? These are possible clues to an oral disorder your dentist can remedy. The growth, development, and function of children’s teeth and oral/facial musculature can impact daily activities, their breathing, and sleep.
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) focuses on correcting muscle function related to tongue position, breathing, speaking, chewing, and swallowing. Early diagnosis and treatment will allow for a successful outcome and eliminate future myofunctional issues for your child.
Similar to sleep apnea in adults, children can experience repetitive breathing pauses during sleep.
Soft tissues, such as the tonsils or tongue, can block the airways completely or partially which results in snoring. Sleeping position and excess weight are contributing factors to sleep apnea.
Here are common signs and symptoms to watch for:
An obstructed airway can deprive the body of needed oxygen, causing your child to wake up repeatedly and change sleep positions throughout the night.
If your child is an open mouth breather during the day, this can indicate issues while sleeping at night. Sleep-related breathing disorders in children can be serious. Snoring negatively impacts oxygen levels and prevents your child from getting the quality and quantity of restorative sleep they need.
The first step is to identify the underlying cause(s).
OMT and orthodontic treatments can manage sleep apnea and protect children who are at an increased risk. By expanding the upper palate and moving the upper and lower jaws forward, the airways can open up.