If your little one snores, gasps, or exhibits signs of poor sleep, they may be suffering from an airway problem called pediatric sleep-disordered breathing (SDB). The sounds of snoring and gasping are made when your child struggles to breathe effectively at night. While snoring is one of the easiest signs that point to this condition, sometimes the symptoms of SDB are less obvious, like teeth grinding, headaches, mouth breathing, or even bed-wetting. To assess your child’s risk of SDB and seek adequate treatment early, schedule an appointment with Dr. Gehlert or Dr. Bowen. They will expertly evaluate your child’s risk, suggesting the HealthyStart™ System as a permanent solution if appropriate.
How HealthyStart™ works
The HealthyStart™ System uses a series of orthodontic and orthopedic oral sleep devices that aid proper teeth, jaw, and mouth alignment as your child grows. By correctly aligning the lower jaw and teeth while your child is still developing, HealthyStart™ enables the creation of a clear airway that eliminates SDB and later straightens teeth without braces. This pain-free, comfortable device is a permanent solution when begun early enough that promotes lifelong healthy breathing.
If your child suffers from SDB, seeking treatment early is important. Just as early treatment ensures a permanent solution for a lifelong health issue, ignoring SDB can lead to long-term side effects that negatively impact all aspects of your child’s life. Some consequences of untreated airway problems include the following:
- Poor behavior and learning: Sleep is crucial for your child’s daily functioning. Undiagnosed SDB may lead to chronic impairment in behavior and learning, which can cause, exacerbate, or contribute to symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Because both ADD and ADHD have been linked to poor sleep in childhood, it is crucial that children who are diagnosed with these attention deficit conditions are evaluated for sleep disorders, which may be the underlying cause of disrupted behavior and learning.
- Impaired growth and development: During sleep, necessary hormones for growth are produced. Interruptions to sleep and poor breathing can affect this production, leading to improper development.
- Bed-wetting: SDB is linked to bed-wetting. If your child wets the bed, impaired breathing may be to blame. Since poor sleep and oxygen shortages can disrupt the body’s control over many systems, including the urologic system, bed-wetting can be a direct result of an airway problem.
- Decreased energy and obesity: Energy levels are often drastically affected by SDB. A child who does not breathe easily at night often experiences daytime fatigue, is less physically active, and may have a body that is resistant to insulin.
- Social concerns: Snoring and gasping in sleep is a common symptom of SDB, but it can also be a source of social embarrassment for children.
If you are concerned about your child’s sleep-disordered breathing and hope to find a permanent solution, call us today to discuss the potential of using HealthyStart™. We look forward to helping your child breathe better and enjoy their beautiful, aligned smile! Contact us today to schedule a consultation.