Can Children Develop Sleep Apnea?

April 4, 2021

Filed under: Uncategorized — prachddsteam @ 1:48 pm
a little girl lying in bed awake in the middle of the night

Watching your child appear fatigued day-in and day-out can be difficult. Learning they’re not sleeping throughout the night can leave you wondering what might be the cause. Discovering they’re struggling academically and socially in school can be disheartening. But the good news is that there might be an answer to these problems. A local dentist explains how children’s sleep apnea may be the cause for your child’s symptoms and shares what you can do to ensure they start getting the rest they need to excel in school and in life.

What Can Cause Sleep Apnea in Children?

Although once believed to only be a condition experienced by adults, more and more children are developing sleep apnea. While many experts differ in their opinions as to what can cause younger individuals to experience this condition, one of the more widely accepted reasons is enlarged tonsils or adenoids. Because sleep apnea occurs when the muscles of the throat collapse and block the airway, these added tissues can be to blame for your little one not getting proper rest each night.

Also, it is believed that children who have a larger tongue, are overweight, have a family history of sleep apnea, were born with low birth weight, or who have Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, or another medical condition may be at a higher risk.  

What Are the Symptoms?

Because sleep apnea is not always easily identifiable to non-medical professionals, you may not realize your child is having issues. But should you notice they are exhibiting any of the following signs, it’s important that you seek help right away:

  • Mouth breathing
  • Ceased breathing while asleep
  • Bed wetting
  • Gasping or choking for air when attempting to wake
  • Chronic loud snoring
  • Night terrors
  • Fatigue
  • Behavioral issues at school or home
  • Struggling academically
  • Difficulty staying awake throughout the day

How Can Sleep Apnea in Children Be Treated?

If you believe your child may be suffering from this common condition, sleep apnea treatment in Casper may be the answer. Through the HealthyStart™ program, which is administered by a local dentist, your child can begin to breathe easier and rest better every night. The program involves providing your little one with a customized oral appliance that is designed to positively impact the growth and development of their jaw and teeth. By repositioning the tongue and bringing their teeth and jaw into better alignment, their airway will remain open, and they will begin to experience fewer symptoms associated with sleep apnea.

By starting the process early, you can help your child avoid many of the more common problems experienced by adults with sleep apnea. Also, HealthyStart may also reduce their chances of needing orthodontic treatment later on because of its ability to realign their jaw and teeth at an early age.

While no one wants to learn their child has sleep apnea, you can take comfort knowing there are trusted and proven solutions available that will help your little one get the care they need.

About the Author
Dr. Erin Prach completed her studies at Eastern Washington University and the University of Colorado’s School of Dental Medicine. Also, she studied oral surgery on a mission trip to Guatemala. Her years of education and training led her to open her practice in 2015. Not only does she treat adults, but she also cares for the youngest smiles. With Dr. Prach, it’s not just about healthy teeth and gums but instead achieving greater well-being for the mouth, body, and mind. Through the HealthyStart™ system, she can address the needs of children suffering from Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB). To learn more, contact us via the website or call (307) 337-4770.

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