At each consultation where I always do a Full and Complete Orthodontic Examination, I screen every patient for any airway issues. Airway obstructions can decrease the amount of oxygen you receive, and can cause sleep disordered breathing.
In children, sleep disordered breathing can cause all sorts of problems. If the brain and the rest of the body are not receiving enough oxygen during sleep, a child can display symptoms such as attention deficit, hyperactivity, defiant behavior, bedwetting, and a host of other symptoms. Anything from mouth breathing during the night to snoring, to sleep apnea, are types of sleep disordered breathing, which not only decrease oxygen, but also decrease the amount of quality sleep the child receives.
Orthodontic treatment, by an orthodontist specializing in airway disorders, can to open the airway in a growing child.
Did you know that the roof of the mouth is the same bony structure as the floor of the nose? This allows for the orthodontic expansion of the upper jaw, which in-turn leads to a widening of the nasal cavity, allowing more air into the airway. Fascinating isn’t it?
Another way of opening the airway involves bringing either upper or lower jaw forward. In cases where either the upper jaw or lower jaw are deficient, we can use orthopedic appliances, to open the airway.
This is one of my passions in life and I received a Masters degree in the field of airway Orthodontics so I can help people breathe better!
If you suspect your child might not be breathing as well as they should be at night, please bring them in as soon as possible. Please refer to the diagram and bolded text above to know what to look for. The sooner your child gets the full amount of oxygen their developing brains require, the better.