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Snoring Children and Sleep Apnea

A snoring child seems hardly a cause for concern. Maybe you think that it could just be the way their head is positioned, so you just try changing their pillow or moving their head to see if that makes a difference.

Snoring for ANY child is a signal that something is wrong with their airway and you should be very concerned. Other remedies you can try include nasal strips or a dietary change. Check to see if your child has a cold or fever, in which case you’ll need to clear their sinuses with medication or nasal spray, or using a bulb syringe — sometimes called a nasal aspirator. These are usually located in the infant aisle of retail stores.

But what if all of that doesn’t work? What if your child’s snoring seems to be a chronic condition? Before you head over to WebMD or self-diagnose using search engine results, we recommend going to your family dentist who is trained in looking for signs and symptoms of sleep breathing disorders so that you can get a professional opinion.

Your oral health and condition can influence how you sleep, including whether snoring may occur. Sleep apnea, or sometimes called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), is a condition that affects millions of Americans, young and old. OSA is defined as intermittent airflow blockage during sleep, which is treatable but sometimes a sign of greater health issues. Because of this, professional diagnosis and treatment is recommended. Additionally, there is another sleep disordered breathing condition called upper airway resistance syndrome (UARS), which is when the airway may not necessarily close off but can become so small that the body just can’t get enough oxygen to properly function.

According to the American Sleep Apnea Association, it’s estimated that 1 in 4 children have some kind of pediatric sleep disorder. They’ve also determined that about 25% of children diagnosed with ADHD have symptoms of OSA, in which their irregular sleeping patterns may lay the foundation for their learning disabilities and their inability to focus for long periods of time.

To test whether your child has OSA or UARS, a dentist may employ a screening test to diagnose the issue. The test is safe and non-intrusive, and will provide your family and the dentist with the information they need to work with a pediatric sleep physician and craft a custom treatment plan to address potential pediatric sleep disordered breathing.

To learn more about how the diagnosis works, getting options for treatment, or for more information on sleep apnea, you can read our blog post here. We also encourage you to schedule an appointment with your dentist to receive customized help and planning!

Book your next check-up or appointment with our Long Beach dental office using our online system here, or by calling us at 562-434-6414.

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