At TMJ & Sleep Therapy Centres, our approach to crooked teeth and bad bites is one of prevention, early diagnosis and treatment of the cause. In most cases, the crooked teeth are the symptom of a more serious condition, one of dysfunctional breathing and/or improper tongue posture.
Pediatric obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a prevalent but under-diagnosed disease. The importance of screening for OSA in every child has been recently been re-emphasized by the American Academy of Pediatrics Guidelines. http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2012/08/22/peds.2012-1671
OSA is a medical condition that is diagnosed by a medical doctor, but can be treated by a dentist with special understanding and training of this life threatening breathing disorder. Working with a Sleep Physician, ENT and others is necessary in treating this condition. Adult therapies for the management of OSA are not suitable for children. Therapies such as CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure) and (OAT) Oral Appliance Therapy have been know to arrest skeletal development of the growing child. The good news is, with proper diagnosis and communication between medical and dental providers, Pediatric OSA can be cured!
Symptoms of Childhood OSA are as follows:
Restlessness during sleep
Sleeping in odd positions
Periods of not breathing
Orthodontics for Airway Development
An increase in airway volume is always our goal in the treatment of Pediatric OSA. The airway is evaluated and any obstructions are addressed. Obstructions can occur anywhere in the airway and are not limited to the mouth and nose. Common procedures in airway development involve upper and lower jaw expansion and relationship changes, myofunctional tongue and lip exercises and lifestyle changes.