Sleep Disorders have been shown to affect 1%-5% of children. The main presenting factors with children are ADD/ADHD/behavioral issues and “failure to thrive”.
ADHD is a behavioral condition that is associated with an imbalance of a neurological compound called dopamine; Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) may affect several of the necessary steps for the production of dopamine in the brain. Dopamine, which is a amino-acid derivative, cannot cross the blood-brain barrier and therefore cannot be regulated with supplements.
“Failure to Thrive” is a condition where a child is not growing and meeting average benchmarks. It has been shown that a major portion of growth hormone is produced in deep stages of sleep and any interruption in sleep in children can limit the production of this important hormone.
The treatment for pediatric sleep apnea is not a dental device as their teeth change more than their shoe size, this makes fitting appliances difficult. Furthermore, the obstruction is most likely due to tonsil growth or other medical issues not associated with the mouth. We feel very strongly about the screening and treatment of children and will facilitate any screening and needed referrals for children at no charge.
If you notice that your child snores, grinds their teeth, or you are concerned that sleep may be an issue; Please contact our office today.