What Does It Mean If Your Kid Is Snoring?
It is estimated more than 10% of children will regularly snore, and this can be caused by a number of different issues but does show that the airway is blocked at some level. If your child snores then it is important to try to find out why as this can cause low levels of oxygen and could increase their risk of developing chronic illnesses in the future, including hypertension, heart problems, and diabetes and insulin resistance.
Snoring Can Affect a Kid’s Ability to Learn at School
If your kid isn’t properly rested then they may find it difficult to concentrate on schoolwork, becoming easily distracted or falling behind. In fact, snoring has been found to be an indicator of poor performance at school, and a study assessing children who snored between the ages of two and six with their performance at school between the ages of thirteen and fourteen found those who performed worse at school during their teens were more likely to have snored in early childhood.
Why Do Children Snore?
Snoring can be due to a number of different problems. It might be that your kid’s upper jaw is too small and underdeveloped, meaning they will have a small airway that is more easily blocked. When they fall asleep the lower jaw tends to drop backwards, as does the tongue and this can obstruct the airway resulting in a sleeping child snoring or frequently gasping for air. This problem is known as Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA) and can dramatically affect the quality of sleep. In 2002, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued guidelines to try to ensure kids with OSA were diagnosed so this sleep disorder could be managed.
Does You Kid Have Any of the following Symptoms?
- Loud and continuous snoring
- Episodes where they appear not to breathe while asleep, before gasping for breath
- Failure to gain weight, or putting on too much weight
- Breathing through their mouth all the time
- Problems with their tonsils or adenoids, or frequent throat infections
- Problems with other sleep disorders including sleep walking or bed wetting
- Excessive sleepiness during the daytime
- Problems concentrating at school or hyperactivity
- Frequent headaches
How Can a Pediatric Dentist Help?
If any of these symptoms sound familiar then it is worth mentioning it during your kid’s next check-up with Dr. Marina Krepkh, or with any of the pediatric dentists at the Kids Dentistry Center. If your kid snores it doesn’t necessarily mean they have sleep apnea, but it is important to get a proper diagnosis. Dr. Krepkh can examine your child and will listen to their symptoms before making a diagnosis.
How Is Snoring in Kids Treated?
Snoring in kids is treated a little differently to adults who will often snore as a result of being overweight. In kids it could be that enlarged tonsils or adenoids need to be removed, in which case Dr. Krepkh can refer your child to an ear, nose and throat surgeon. Sometimes orthodontic treatment can help, particularly in re-positioning the jaws so the airway is more able to remain open during sleep.