Maryville and Knoxville, TN
These days, lots of children are diagnosed with some spectrum of ADHD or Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder. Signs of not paying attention, being fidgety all of the time, poor grades, and irritability can point to a behavioral issue that typically is treated using medication. While there are varying degrees of ADHD, some cases can be managed without medication, although millions of children take medicine to manage their behavioral disorder. And, your child may even be one of them.
But, what should you do when your child’s ADHD medication doesn’t seem to work any longer? Should you talk to your child’s doctor about changing to a different medication? Or, could it be time to increase your child’s dose or frequency in which they take their meds? Well, at Crestview Dental Care, we’d like to suggest another option that we think you should consider. We are referring to a sleep apnea screening.
A lot of adults don’t realize this, but children can develop sleep apnea too. Some are born with anatomical issues, such as having enlarged tonsils or adenoids, and others may develop sleep apnea as they grow. For instance, a child with an underdeveloped jaw that mouth breathes, or that has a bad oral habit (sucking his or her thumb, a pacifier, tongue thrust), could have an underdeveloped upper palate or uneven bite that results in a narrow or restricted airway. There actually are a lot of factors that could cause your child to have a restricted airway, which is why a sleep apnea screening is essential!
Here is how the airway and sleep are connected with behavioral problems
When obstructive sleep apnea occurs, the person isn’t getting enough air. This causes the brain to wake up ever so slightly out of the REM stage of the sleep cycle, to signal the body to breathe again. These episodes can occur as many as a hundred times or more per hour! The REM sleep stage is where we truly rest, and our minds rejuvenate. So, if your child’s brain is waking up out of REM sleep all throughout the night, they are going to be sleep deprived.
Children react to sleep deprivation a bit differently than adults. Instead of being sluggish, they get hyper and seem out of control at times. They may start getting bad grades, or suddenly become disinterested in activities they once loved. A child with sleep apnea probably will snore or make gasping sounds as they sleep. They also may have issues with bedwetting well beyond being potty trained. Their physical features may change too. Look for a tired look or dark circles under their eyes.
Most often is the case that children with these symptoms are instead diagnosed with ADHD, and put on medication. But, if ADHD medication doesn’t seem to be “curing” your child’s behavioral issues, then it is time to get a pediatric sleep apnea screening in Knoxville. At Crestview Dental Care, we can easily and painlessly perform this screening for your child and work with you and your child’s doctor on the best course of treatment. If you notice any of these symptoms related to sleep apnea in your child, or your child has been diagnosed with ADHD, consider scheduling a sleep apnea screening today. Crestview Dental Care offers a simple solution to your child’s behavioral issues, and it doesn’t involve medication! If you would like to find a natural method of treating ADHD or want to find out more, just contact (865) 982-1700 to schedule a consultation.
Crestview Dental Care is proud to serve patients in the areas of Maryville and Knoxville in Tennessee.