Sleep in Children

Pediatric sleep disordered breathing (SDB) is an umbrella term that includes breathing disturbances such as habitual snoring, obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), and nocturnal hypoventilation.

Dr. Garza and Dr. Dad have specialized training to identify children with SDB, in order to improve their quality of sleep and overall wellbeing.

How common is SDB in children?

Studies have shown that approximately 25 percent of typically developing preschool-aged children have some form of sleep-related problems. The occurrence of sleep disorders in children with neuro-developmental disorders can be as high as 80 percent. The prevalence of OSA specifically is between one and five percent, presenting between two to eight years of age.

Potential Risk Factors of SDB

  • Grinding the teeth at night
  • Snoring during sleep
  • Occasional bed-wetting

Common Sights Associated with SDB

  • Obesity
  • Enlarged adenoids and tonsils
  • Unusually large tongue
  • Recessed lower jaw
  • High-arched palate
  • Disorders such as Down syndrome, Prader-Willi syndrome, and Pierre-Robin sequence

Diagnosing and Treating SDB

During your child’s dental appointment, Dr. Dad and Dr. Garza can identify potential risk factors and provide a referral to sleep specialist for a sleep study if indicated. The study will include a polysomnogram, which measures apneas or hypopneas (periods of no breathing) to determine the apnea-hypopnea index (AHI).

If your child has moderate to severe OSA without complications of obesity or craniofacial issues, the most common treatment is the surgical removal of the adenoids and tonsils. Other treatment options besides surgery include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP), nasal steroids, rapid palatal expansion (RPE), and myofunctional therapy (MT).

Sleep disturbances in children are common, but they can be managed early on through diagnosis and a team effort involving sleep specialists, surgical interventions, and non-surgical treatments.

Monday — Thursday
9:00am – 5:00pm
9:00am – 2:00pm