Snoring in children can be disruptive to your child’s sleep which may negatively effect their mental and physical development while reducing energy for participation in daytime activities at daycare or school.
While snoring can be normal and no cause for concern in some children, it’s worth looking at with your pediatrician and pediatric dentist.
From Sleep Education statistics, 10-12% of children snore. Snoring is associated with crowded or abnormal dental arch development, sleep apnea, daytime tiredness and learning difficulties, and attention deficit behavioral issues.
The risks and issues related to snoring in kids
The biggest risk with snoring is that a child’s brain may be deprived of optimal oxygenation during sleep.
Teeth grinding and mouth breathing, especially when seen together with snoring, are symptoms that indicate there may be problems in your child’s oral development. Your child’s oral development involves teeth, tongue, gums, soft tissues, and the facial bones that support the upper airways of the nose and throat.
If your child has crooked or crowded teeth, they may also have undersized jawbones that may be coupled with diminished airway and sinus size. Sometimes teeth grinding is the unconscious effort of the body to try to open restricted airways for better breathing during sleep. Grinding often involves forward posturing of the lower jaw that will move the teeth, tongue, and floor of the mouth muscles forward to increase airway dimension. If your child has crooked teeth and is snoring or grinding their teeth at night, it could be a sign that some amount of obstructive sleep apnea is present.
Aside from the bigger ramifications to your child’s overall development, snoring and the dry mouth that is associated with open mouth sleeping can also lead to mouth problems like tooth decay, halitosis (bad breath), burning mouth syndrome, and accelerated gum disease.
How your dentist can help
If you see all the above symptoms in your child, a sleep study with your pediatrician or primary care physician can test for sleep-disordered breathing. Additionally, we can screen for these problems and determine appropriate referral timing to the orthodontist so that dental and skeletal development can be monitored and/or improved when necessary. Orthodontic care at the right time in development is absolutely critical as the growth spurts associated with skeletal and dental development can be widely modified, especially when the growth spurt is actively happening.
Please ask us your questions and share with us your concerns about what you see and hear from your child at night. We are pleased to assist you with questions about how to help your child grow and develop in the very best way.
About Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan, the offices of Drs. Plunkett, Ralstrom, Makowski, Thanasas, Ker, and Associates
Pediatric Dentistry and Orthodontic Specialists of Michigan have specialized in pediatric dentistry and orthodontics since 1968. Our family-friendly and newly renovated office gives patients and families a more comfortable and consistent experience with dentistry from the very beginning. Our pediatric dentists treat children from newborn to 18 years of age while our orthodontists provide care for both children and adults and are proud to be Premier Providers of Invisalign and Invisalign Teen services. The ability to treat all patients with compassion and individuality, including those that may have special needs reaches beyond our facility, which has treatment rooms available for children who require additional privacy and customized care options. We pioneered valued hospital affiliations to allow dental services to be performed at DMC Children’s Hospital and St. John Macomb Hospital, when appropriate or necessary, and our specialists are also proud to be on staff at Henry Ford and Beaumont hospitals.