Sleep apnea is a breathing problem that affects both adults and children. It disrupts breathing during sleep. Though commonly associated with fatigue during the day and snoring, it may also have devastating consequences for your child’s dental health.
Sleep apnea can cause many dental issues that affect your child’s overall oral health and development, ranging from misaligning their teeth to delayed tooth eruption.
Sleep Apnea and Oral Health
Let us examine how sleep apnea may affect children’s dental health, what role dentists play in diagnosing and managing it, and why regular dental check-ups are crucial to ensure good oral health in kids.
Impact of Sleep Apnea on Children’s Dental Health
- Malocclusion: Sleep sleep apnea may cause malocclusion or misalignment of teeth. If children suffer from sleep apnea, breathing becomes compromised, and they could grind or clench their teeth during sleep – this causes changes in how the teeth align, creating malocclusion that may result in difficulty chewing and biting, speech issues, headaches, and jaw pain.
- Delayed Teeth Eruptions: Disrupting sleep breathing, could also lead to delayed tooth eruption. When breathing patterns are disturbed in sleep, their bodies create less growth hormone, essential to form teeth and bones, causing delays in tooth eruption. This can seriously affect the child’s bite and overall dental health problems.
- Dry Mouth and Gum Disease: Sleep apnea can lead to gum disease. If a child suffers from sleep apnea or breathing problems, their breathing can be disturbed, and they could be able to breathe through their mouth instead of their nose. The breath of the mouth can cause dry mouth, which lowers the amount of saliva produced in the mouth. Saliva is necessary for keeping the mouth healthy and clean The growth of bacteria could cause gum disease if it isn’t sufficient.
- Tooth Grinding: Children who suffer from sleep apnea grind their teeth at night – known as bruxism. Grinding causes wear and tear damage that can cause tooth loss or sensitive teeth.
Sleep apnea in children must be diagnosed before it becomes a problem. It is evident by snoring, gasping, or choking during sleep, restlessness, and daytime fatigue. If your child suffers from sleep apnea, it is essential to contact a dentist or pediatrician right away so that they can send them to be evaluated by a sleep specialist. You can follow this page for more info about sleep apnea.
Role of Dentists in Sleep Apnea
- Dentists play a crucial role in diagnosing, treating, and curing sleep apnea among children.
- Regular dental check-ups permit your dentist to examine for signs of malocclusion, delayed tooth eruption, or any other dental condition that could suggest sleep apnea. If you’re looking for periodontal maintenance for people in Ocean, NJ, you can search the web for dental facilities in the area and book an appointment immediately.
- Suppose your child has been identified with sleep apnea. In this case, the dentist can collaborate with their physician and sleep specialist to design an effective treatment plan that could include Continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) devices or oral devices designed to ensure that airways remain open while asleep.
Importance of Regular Dental Check-Ups
- Regular dental exams for children are vital in ensuring good oral health.
- Dental exams can stop gum disease, cavities, and various dental problems from developing.
- Your dentist can guide you about the best brushing and flossing techniques.
- Your dentist may recommend sealants or fluoride treatments to guard your child’s teeth against decay.
Sleep apnea is a serious issue that can affect the health of your child’s teeth, including malocclusions, delayed eruption, dry mouth, and tooth grinding. Parents must know its signs for children and consult their dentist or pediatrician if this is the case.
Achieving early detection of sleep apnea for children can prevent problems in the long term and improve overall development and health. Be sure to schedule regular dental check-ups for any concerns that may come up in the early stages.