Obstructive Sleep Apnea is one of the significant oral issues that is caused due to the blockage of the airway during sleep. Sleep interruptions can cause discomfort and uneasiness resulting in the difficulty to breathe. Obstruction of the airway may limit the regular supply of oxygen to the lungs and brain making you wake up in the middle of sleep with a sudden jolt!
Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) is the result of a blocked airway that may have occurred due to the collapse of the tissues from the roof of the throat. The brain would be denied its regular supply of oxygen, which is why it signals the body to wake up suddenly. The airway may also get blocked due to excessive accumulation of fat around the throat, thereby making the passage smaller.
Airway Orthodontics is a specialized branch of dentistry that is mainly intended towards identifying, diagnosing, and treating children who suffer from breathing issues during sleep. According to certain studies, approximately 5% of children experience Obstructive Sleep Apnea. This, if left untreated and ignored, can lead to many severe health conditions and affect the overall health of the child.
Difficulty in breathing: The child would experience labored breathing. Difficulty in breathing combined with mild snoring would be seen.
Irritation: The child would undergo frequent mood swings and get irritated over the pettiest issues. Some may also show aggressive behavior.
Sleep deprivation: Children must get a minimum of 8 hours of sleep a day. However, when they suffer from OSA, their sleep time would be cut down by at least 2 to 3 hours every day, making them feel sleepy during the daytime. Some children are also known to wet their bed in their sleep.
Tiredness:They would naturally feel tired throughout the day, reducing the level of activity as well. Over time, lethargy would start to set in, and they may gain weight.
Sore throat and headaches:The child would wake up with a bad case of sore throat due to all the snoring during sleep. Also, morning headaches are quite frequent with patients with OSA.
Heart conditions: Patients with OSA have been associated with developing heart diseases when a sleep disorder is left untreated for long. This is caused due to the elevated levels of blood pressure and cholesterol in the body, putting excessive stress on the blood vessels.
Diminishing IQ: The child would gradually become less active with their everyday activities. OSA harms mental health and is known to diminish IQ.
Deformities of the facial structure: OSA can deform the throat area, thereby bringing about a change in the facial structure as well. Jaw misalignment and malocclusion are also common symptoms.
OSA should be treated as soon as the symptoms arise. The best treatment would be to increase the opening and volume of the airway so that your child can inhale and exhale without hassle. This would reduce the chances of a blocked airway. We use advanced and state-of-the-art technology to formulate a customized treatment plan carefully for patients diagnosed with sleep apnea. We would provide the perfect oral appliances to counter the condition effectively.
Learn more about Airway Orthodontics by requesting an appointment at Fairfield Orthodontics. Call our office at 707-428-3200 or request an appointment online.
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