Kids’ Sleep-Disordered Breathing & Sleep Apnoea

Getting quality sleep is crucial to good health, both for children and adults. But if you have young kids at home, you’ll know how difficult it can be to put them to bed. And unfortunately, problems can appear even when they’re asleep. In this post we’ll discuss two things can interfere with your children’s rest and with their overall health: sleep interruptions and sleep- disordered breathing.

Sleepwalking And Night Terrors

Sleepwalking is especially common in young kids. Episodes usually happen within the first few hours of sleep and they can last from a few seconds to several minutes. Although in most cases this problem disappears on its own by the time a child is 10 years old, it can be a source of problems in the meantime.

First of all, there’s the risk that kids who sleepwalk may hurt themselves either by tripping and falling or running into something. Moreover, children who sleepwalk are usually tired during the day, and this can affect their mood and performance at school.

Night terrors are another thing that causes sleep interruptions. These may happen every now and then, in which case there’s nothing to worry about. But if your child has night terrors often, they may suffer the same adverse effects caused by nightwalking. 

Sleep-Disordered Breathing 

Sleep-disordered breathing is a term that covers several problems that happen at night. For example, you may think that snoring isn’t really a big deal, but in fact it often is a sign of underlying conditions. 

After all, people snore because the normal airflow is obstructed. Some of the reasons behind frequent snoring can be diet deficiencies, obesity, or incorrect breathing (breathing through the mouth).

Sleep Apnoea in Children

Sleep apnoea is another night-time breathing disorder that you should understand so you can identify the symptoms, since kids with apnoea aren’t aware of the problem. 

Apnoea is a breathing interruption while a child is asleep, and this happens several times every night. A child with this condition will wake up gasping or snorting, although they won’t remember it in the morning. They may also breathe heavily, snore, or be generally restless in their sleep. 

Sleep-disordered breathing issues and sleep interruptions are actually connected to each other. Medical researchers have found that apnoea in particular seems to be the trigger for other disorders, since it causes an interruption in the sleep cycle. In fact, night terrors and sleep walking are symptoms of apnoea too.

If you notice any apnoea symptoms in your child, it’s important that you take them to a healthcare professional familiar with this condition. Sleep apnoea can be quite harmful to your child’s health and the effects go from daytime sleepiness and concentration problems to hyperactivity, high blood pressure, and heart conditions.

Diagnosing And Treating Sleep Disorders In Young Kids

All sleep disorders related to incorrect breathing (including apnoea) can be diagnosed by a dentist. You may be surprised to hear this, but actually many of these disorders are caused by problems that fall within a dentist’s expertise. For example, apnoea and frequent snoring can be the result of jaw development problems. 

To get an accurate diagnosis, you’ll need to find a child-friendly dental clinic that has the facilities to test for these disorders. Testing can be done at home, so the child sleeps in their own bed. The testing involves simply wearing a small fingertip device that records the child’s body while they’re sleep, including breathing patterns, blood oxygen levels, and body position.

If a night-time breathing disorder is found, your dentist will discuss the treatment options available. One of the most effective ways of treating this is by using an oral appliance that the child wears to bed. 

These are similar to retainers (worn after braces) and they’re safe to be used on kids as young as two years old. These special devices help by correcting the jaw and tongue position, which are some of the most common things that cause breathing interruptions. 

The device helps keep the airways open through the night, which means that your child is less likely to wake up and can get a better rest. 

There’s nothing more important than your kid’s health and well-being, and these start with the ability to sleep and breathe well. If you’d like to prevent the health problems linked to sleep disorders, get in touch with MyoKids Dental

Danny the dentist is specially trained and has plenty of experience treating this condition in young kids. Book your consultation today!

Unexpected Symptoms of TMJ Disorder

We have two Temporomandibular joints (TMJ) which are located on either side of the jaw and connect the jawbone to the skull. They act as a hinge allowing you to chew, speak and yawn. However, for those who have misaligned teeth, an improper bite or arthritis, disorders of these joints can lead to further issues. 

Symptoms of TMJ disorders include pain, popping noises within the jaw and being unable to open the mouth. However, a few more symptoms of TMJ disorder are less known.

Ear troubles

The proximity of the TMJ to the ears mean disorders of these joints can result in ear ache and ear infections. Some people experience tinnitus or a feeling of fullness within the ear. Dizziness is also another possible symptom of TMJ. This is due to inflammation in the muscles and connecting tissue supporting the jaw which may affect the inner ear.

Vision issues

The temporomandibular joints are also located close to the trigeminal nerve. This nerve is linked to your vision and therefore any inflammation from a TMJ disorder can result in vision issues in one or both eyes. This can include a feeling of pressure behind the eyes, blurred or tired eyes and sensitivity to light. 

Though not a common issue, a pinched trigeminal nerve from inflammation can also lead to tingling and numbness in the legs and arms, or possibly limbs which ache or feel weak. 

Head and neck pain

TMJ disorders can also affect your neck, shoulders and upper back. This can be caused through the increased muscle tension induced by the disorder. This may be compounded by your posture as you try to find a way to reduce any jaw pain or discomfort resulting from TMJ disorders. You may not realise it, but you could be holding your head and neck in a position which is not a natural one. So in attempting to alleviate one source of discomfort you could be creating another.

The important point to remember is TMJ disorders are treatable. By booking an appointment with your dentist if you think you have symptoms of a TMJ disorder you can have the cause of the disorder evaluated and a treatment plan recommended. Pain from TMJ disorders is largely temporary providing you seek the advice of an experienced professional dentist.

Might TMJ Cause Your Teeth to Change Place Over Time?

The temporomandibular joint (TMJ)  is one of the most important structures within your face. As it enables your jaw to function properly, it plays a key role in chewing and even breathing. 

However, many individuals suffer from a condition known as TMJ disorder. Some of the most common symptoms include pain or stiffness in the jaw, inexplicable headaches and a “clicking” sensation when chewing. 

If you have this condition, might your teeth also be at risk of shifting over time? Let us take a closer look at this understandable concern in order to better appreciate when the opinion of a specialist is required. 

Is There a Link with Bruxism?

Those who grind their teeth will frequently be diagnosed with a condition known as bruxism. The main question is whether or not there is a definitive link between bruxism and TMJ. This is a rather complex issue, as some with bruxism can develop TMJ over time — while in other situations, TMJ could very well lead to bruxism. 

It is nonetheless a fact that either of these situations will place an undue amount of pressure upon your teeth. As a result, they are more likely to shift if the underlying conditions are not treated with a proactive approach. 

Determining the Root Causes of Your Symptoms

One of the first steps is to discover what actually may be caused your TMJ. This is normally quite an easy task with the help of a dentist or oral care specialist. They will closely examine the structure of your jaw as well as the mechanics of your bite. 

They may also take other related factors into account such as:

  • The anatomy of your skull and jaw
  • Arthritis
  • Stress in your life

During this session, it is also likely the dentist will take a closer look at your teeth in order to determine if you might be concurrently suffering from bruxism. Assuming that the underlying factors are found, there will normally be a host of excellent treatment options. 

Are you suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above? If so, it’s important to get treatment to improve your dental health — and your quality of life. You will then be able to treat a minor issue before it becomes a major problem that requires more in-depth medical intervention. 

Why Is Laser Dentistry Popular?

The technology behind dentistry has evolved at a nearly unfathomable pace in recent years. Not only has this progression enabled professionals to provide more targeted solutions to their patients, but minor issues can now be corrected before they develop into more serious concerns. 

One of the latest breakthroughs involves the use of lasers in dentistry. What are some of the most interesting benefits associated with these amazing techniques? Let us take a look at why a growing number of people from all walks of life are opting for these procedures. 

The Issue of Comfort

Many of us harbour a phobia of the dentist. Whether due to a past experience or simply resulting from the belief that we will experience pain, this mindset often prevents us from obtaining professional advice when we suspect that a problem is present. 

Laser dentistry removes the notion of pain from the equation. Drills and other sharp instruments have now been replaced with non-invasive lasers. Not only is this a much more comfortable solution, but lasers will not inadvertently damage your teeth (as may sometimes occur due to the vibration of a drill). 

More Rapid Healing Time

Lasers preclude the need for traditional solutions such as cuts, stitches and sutures. As a result, patients will experience extremely fast healing times. It is just as important to mention that situations such as swelling, pain and bleeding are also dramatically reduced. 

We should likewise point out that only many other traditional procedures, a laser treatment can normally be completed within a single visit. This will enable you to return to a sense of normalcy in no time at all. Even complex treatments can generally be finished within entirely amenable time frames. 

A Versatile Approach

There are few limits in regards to modern dental lasers. While these techniques were often reserved to topical issues such as teeth whitening in the past, they can now be employed to address numerous scenarios. Some common examples include:

  • Treating infections
  • Performing root canal surgery
  • Removing cavities and tooth decay
  • Dealing with issues related to the gums

It should now be clear to see why laser dentistry truly represents a “cutting-edge” solution to oral problems. It is always a good idea to speak with your dentist if you hope to learn more about what is involved or if you believe that a problem exists. 

Is It Time For Orthodontics?

There are many types of braces available to children. From traditional metal braces to Invisalign invisible braces, you can be sure to find something that will work for your little one. You probably have a lot of questions concerning braces, which is why we’ve compiled good information you need to know before beginning this journey.

Why do children need braces?

Children need braces for a number of reasons, including overcrowded, crooked, overlapping teeth, or a ‘bad bite’ (also known as malocclusion). A malocclusion occurs when there’s a difference in the sizes of the top and bottom jaws. This variation in size results in an overbite or an underbite.

If your child is losing his baby teeth too early or too late, there might be a problem with his (or her) jaw that needs correcting. You should also be wary of teeth that are coming through in the wrong position and teeth that are not making any contact. Other signs to watch out for include lips that can’t close properly and a difficulty eating. All these are alarm bells telling you it’s time your child got to see their dentist.

When is the best age for your child to get braces?

Many orthodontists recommend that children make their first official visit at the age of seven. By this stage, their adult teeth have begun appearing and any alignment issues can be easily corrected. However, remember that treatment won’t begin for another few months or years, depending on your child’s special condition. Children often begin orthodontia between the ages of 8 and 14 and the average treatment time will vary amongst children.

What are the benefits of orthodontics?

Orthodontics helps move teeth into the correct position as they emerge. It also helps in guiding the growth of the jaw bone, therefore, preventing jaw misalignment later in life. Orthodontics also helps in making space for erupting teeth and improves the facial aesthetics of your child. Your child will also have a reduced risk of injury to prominent teeth.

Final thoughts

It’s very common for children to get braces to straighten their teeth, but as a parent, there are many steps you must take before approving the treatment. 

Start by talking with your child’s dentist for advice. In the end, the braces will pay off when your little one has a beautiful smile with straight teeth.