Sleep & Airway Services
Better sleep. Better health. More smiles
Did you know that more than 18 million Americans struggle with sleep apnea? Of those millions, many children also suffer from the condition.
Because dentists spend so much time examining the mouth and jaw, we’re able to gain insight on whether patients are at risk for obstructive sleep apnea later in life. In addition to our general dentistry services, as well as our cosmetic and restorative services, we now provide sleep apnea treatment.
Call our office at 641-792-2780 to schedule a sleep apnea screening!
What Is Obstructive Sleep Apnea?
Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a disorder characterized by disrupted breathing during sleep. When the jaw does not fully develop, it causes the nasal floor to narrow. This abnormality causes the tongue to push back and restrict the airway.
Those with wider jaws have more room for their tongue to rest without blocking the airway. This allows them to breathe normally through their noses. For someone with an abnormal jaw, breathing through their nose is like breathing through a straw.
Snoring and disrupted sleep may be bothersome, but they may not seem like significant issues. However, obstructive sleep apnea can be indicative of severe health problems. OSA is linked to obesity, diabetes, high blood pressure, acid reflux, and high cholesterol. It also increases your risk of heart attack or stroke. If you’re at risk of developing OSA or have already been diagnosed, contact us to discuss your sleep apnea treatment options.
Sleep Apnea Testing for Kids
Doctors and researchers agree that the human jaw is growing smaller with each generation. It’s possible to test for sleep apnea at any age, but we’re now able to detect if a young child is at risk for the condition. When we screen our patients for sleep apnea, we check to see if:
- The teeth fit in the face
- The tongue fits in the mouth
- A person’s sleep patterns are healthy
We also examine the lips and check for tongue ties in our pediatric patients. Children especially don’t sleep well if they can’t breathe well at night. Children who don’t get enough adequate sleep are more susceptible to:
- Upper respiratory infections
- Ear infections
- Bed wetting
- Poor academic performance
- Aggressive behavior
- Clenching/grinding teeth
- Small/delayed growth
- Night Sweats
- GI distress/reflux
- Sensory issues
If your child is currently experiencing any of these issues and doesn’t sleep well at night, call us at 641-792-2780. We screen children as young as 2-years-old.
Sleep Apnea Treatment
What can you do if you already suffer from poor sleep and impaired breathing? Lifestyle changes, like losing weight, quitting smoking, and exercising, can significantly improve sleep. Depending on how severe your sleep apnea may be, there are other treatment options, such as oral appliance therapy.