Knoxville and Maryville, TN
Are you concerned about your child’s looks? The problem could be a result of their development. Studies have shown a direct link between sleep-disordered breathing and the morphology of the face during late childhood. Meaning that your child could be suffering from a sleep disorder if their face appears not to be developing as beautifully as it could. What does this mean, and how can you help?
Facial morphology such as a long face, retrognathic mandible (when the lower jaw appears to be slide back too far), and a reduced nose prominence and width, are a result of mouth breathing. Our mouths and tongue muscles have an optimal resting position that helps facilitate the growth of the face and airway. The correct resting position of the tongue is that it gently presses against the roof of the mouth – with the tip of the tongue resting along the back sides of the upper front teeth, with lips closed. If your child is a mouth breather, then he or she is not exhibiting proper oral posture, which results in facial morphology.
If your child is not breathing well, they are starving their body of necessary oxygen, which could negatively affect their oral health and development. Ensuring proper airflow and correct breathing means your child will not only rest better but also helps facilitate the growth and development of their airway. The proper way, and healthy way, to breathe is through the nose, although occasional bouts of congestion may warrant mouth breathing. Consistent mouth breathing or narrow airway could result in obstructive sleep apnea – a serious sleep-breathing disorder.
To determine if your child has a sleep breathing disorder, consider a consultation with Crestview Dental Care. Using simple sleep tests, we can determine if your child suffers from sleep apnea. Also, if your child is a mouth breather, we can provide solutions to help your child retrain his or hers facial muscles to function and rest properly – known as orofacial myofunctional therapy. This is why early intervention among children is so important. During routine exams, the dentist can evaluate your child for these types of oral issues that could hinder their development. Correcting issues such as mouth breathing early on can help save your child from extensive dental treatments later in life.
The approach that we take at Crestview Dental Care is not one that you will find at just any dental practice. In fact, dental school typically does not focus much on facial growth guidance or neuromuscular dentistry. Instead, our dentists have undergone extensive post-graduate training at the world’s most renowned learning institution – the Las Vegas Institute (LVI). Learning neuromuscular dentistry allows us to provide less invasive treatments to patients, especially children, which helps them avoid living with the negative consequences of undiagnosed sleep apnea.
If you would like to learn more or to schedule a consultation for your child, please contact Crestview Dental Care today by calling (865) 982-1700. We welcome patients of all ages from Knoxville and Maryville, Tennessee.