Good quality sleep is one of the most fundamental requirements of human survival. Yet often it is completely overlooked, even by the medical profession!
Snoring is not something that will automatically raise alarm bells, is it? But it should. Persistent snoring very often is a sign of Sleep Disordered Breathing (or SDB) – undoubtedly one of the more potent silent killers.
Does your child snore?
Sleep disordered breathing is particularly damaging in children (for adult snoring see below).
Apart from the obvious – the child isn’t resting properly at night – there is an array of physical and behavioural issues that may be a direct result of snoring during sleep.
In recent years evidence has come to light that common disorders such as ADHD are in fact often caused by SDB. Sudden Infant Death Syndrome has been linked to SDB in infants. Bedwetting is another common problem that is closely associated with SDB.
Blood oxygenation often drops to dangerous levels. This highlights the fact that snoring in children is NOT NORMAL despite contrary belief.
Studies have shown due to poor blood oxygenation the IQ of affected children may drop by as much as 15-25 points!! Not to mention social issues that arise at school due to resulting inability to control behaviour.
When an adult doesn’t get enough sleep, he or she will tend to be tired and lethargic throughout the day. A child’s reaction to lack of sleep is the exact opposite – they get more wired.
In addition, the breathing patterns that we observe in chronic snorers are often damaging to the development of jaws. These kids commonly end up with very narrow palate, various degrees of dental crowding and poorly coordinated jaws resulting in dysfunctional bites.
These kinds of problems can be extremely difficult to treat in adulthood and even in teenagers, often requiring jaw surgery, or extraction of teeth, so we must get in early with our minimally invasive early dentofacial orthopaedics to avoid these undesirable outcomes.
Please refer to parent instruction sheet. It will allow us to identify potential problems quicker at your appointment.
Snoring in Adults
In ADULTS who snore, the consequences of undiagnosed SDB can also be life threatening.It is associated with increased risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, strokes, memory loss, depression and anxiety disorders, gastrointestinal disorders ..the list goes on.
Not to mention the distress it often causes to the bed partner..
In adults too the diagnosis and management of SDB must involve a number of health professionals. And again, in our practice we can initiate and coordinate the process as well as provide corrective appliances specific to each patients needs as there is no one appliance type that will work for everyone.
For adult patients, if you would like to investigate this issue further please refer to our sleep questionnaire. You can fill it out and Email to us with your appointment request. We will contact you right away.
Why see a dentist trained in dental sleep medicine and early interceptive orthodontics?
We, as dentists, are ideally placed as gatekeepers of airways. In my practice we can identify the problem and the likely source.
We know when and who to refer to, as these health issues are never solved by one specialist and require a collaborative effort between an ENT surgeon, a dentist, a dental technician, a sleep physician, a breathing physiotherapist or a breathing coach, a maxillofacial radiologist, a nutritionist. We have the knowledge and the resources to coordinated this team of specialists.
We are then able to design and construct appliances to correct the problems.
The appliances that we offer in our practice may be designed to widen the palate, or retrain the musculature to allow healthy breathing and swallowing patterns, or reposition jaws to open airways.
Looking forward to seeing you
Dr. Maria Avis