Pediatric Sleep Apnea

Dentofacial Orthopedic Approach

Several studies have demonstrated the relationship between obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), obesity, temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain, headaches and undeveloped maxilla (jaw growth) in children and adolescents.

At Sunrise Orthodontics, Dr. Calkins evaluates and offer treatment alternatives for children with OSA; this is accomplished by making changes in the growth of the patient’s mid-face area. A narrow upper airway has been tied to OSA at a rate of  4%-11%. Also, cases of sleep-breathing disorders and chronic facial pain is increasing, with one in six children and adolescents showing clinical signs of TMJ disorders.

Headaches and migraines are another issued experienced in the pediatric population. Children diagnosed with migraines are 8.5 times more likely to have a sleep-breathing disorder.

“If children come to us for a pediatric evaluation and we detect signs and symptoms of possible OSA, a pediatric sleep study will be recommended,” says Dr. Calkins. Dentofacial orthopedics has proven to be a clinically acceptable approach, with positive results in the management of OSA in children. Dr. Calkins will target maxillary and mandibular development, which can leave patients with less snoring, headaches and favorable sleep studies to monitor the effectiveness of the orthopedic approach.

Calkins says that dynamic skeletal development in children as young as 4 with severe apnea can be helped by modification of facial growth. “The goals of a practice focused on the comprehensive health of our patients allows us to render protocols to serve in an integrated and interdisciplinary collaboration,” she says. Also, having a diagnosis and treatment plan at an early age brings worthwhile benefits for the integral health of both children and adolescents.

If your child is experiencing conditions known as airway-related craniofacial dysfunctions, or ACDs, that include chronic naso-pharyngeal obstruction, lip-tie or tongue-tie tissues, open mouth posture,  not swallowing or chewing correctly, chronic hyperventilation or hypocapnia, breathing-disordered sleep, clenching of teeth, temporomandibular joint pain, cranial or postural concerns, consider visiting Dr. Calkins for a comprehensive evaluation of your children or adolescent. Just imagine opportunity to improve the quality of life of your family.

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