A Silent Epidemic Affecting Children

silent epidemic affecting children

silent epidemic affecting childrenKnoxville and Maryville, TN

Did you know that 9 out of 10 children in our country suffer from a sleep breathing disorder? Unfortunately, most parents and caregivers are unaware that their child is silently battling this health threat, and aren’t sure what to do about it. HealthyStart™

Providers in Maryville at Crestview Dental Care would like to help shed some light on this potentially devastating disorder that could be jeopardizing your child’s health!

Sleep-breathing disorders are associated with obstructive sleep apnea, which is a result of a narrow or restricted airway that causes mouth breathing (both day and night), and snoring or gasping for air while sleeping. Among health issues, comorbidities, and even unfavorable facial development, sleep-breathing disorders are nothing to mess around with and require treatment – the earlier, the better.

Our bodies need a certain amount of oxygen to thrive and remain healthy. Without a sufficient supply, it stresses the heart, and other vital organs responsible for our health. Plus, when sleep apnea occurs, the body experiences numerous pauses in breathing while asleep. These occurrences wake up the brain to signal the body to breathe again. Just imagine the type of sleepless nights this causes, and, for a growing child, this could lead to many undesirable health consequences.

A sleep apnea doctor in Maryville such as Dr. Tommy Spears can assess your child’s airway to determine if he or she has a sleep breathing disorder. However, be on the lookout for symptoms such as dark circles under the eyes, bedwetting, snoring, mouth breathing, ADD/ADHD behavioral issues, and frequent nightmares.

These behavioral issues such as those associated with ADD/ADHD are often overlooked as signs of a sleep breathing disorder, and instead, many doctors end up overmedicating children to treat a disorder that really doesn’t exist, all the while the underlying health problem (the airway) goes undetected. This is one of the reasons why an airway evaluation by a HealthyStart™ dentist in Knoxville really could mean life or death for your child.

Ignoring a sleep-breathing disorder will not do your child any good. In fact, it only worsens as they get older, increasing their risk of developing co-morbidities such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity, and possibly death. If you are wondering whether your child is struggling with a behavioral disorder, or if he or she is being treated for such already, we urge you to consider scheduling an airway evaluation in Maryville at Crestview Dental Care.

There are many causes that may lead to sleep apnea in children, and often times it has to do with a narrow airway that developed as a result of poor oral habits like thumb sucking or prolonged use of a pacifier or bottle. This initiates a chain reaction that leads to an obstructed airway, overjet or crooked teeth, a recessed chin, elongated face, and an overall undesirable profile.

HealthyStart™ treatment uses specially designed oral appliances to help correct bad oral habits such as thumb sucking, and that help to encourage the upper and lower jaw to grow to their maximum size. Wider jaws create a favorable profile, allow for the widening of the upper dental arch, result in straighter teeth, and a wider airway. In essences, the system works by encouraging proper facial and jaw growth as your child develops. This is why early detection of an airway disorder is important. The sooner treatment begins, the quicker your child can breathe freely, and get on with living a healthy life.

To learn more about sleep breathing disorders, or the HealthyStart™ program in Knoxville offered at Crestview Dental Care, please contact our office by calling (865) 982-1700.