Childhood sleep apnea, why should it be treated as soon as possible?

S. F.

MADRID

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During sleep, all the muscles of the body relax, including those of the nasopharynx, which are responsible for keeping the throat open so that air passes into the lungs. There are many children who have structural problems in the mouth which cause that, at bedtime, the air cannot flow properly into the throat.

This causes the child to gasp for a few seconds, producing snoring. This may seem like a common occurrence, however it has serious health consequences.

Dr. Romina Vignolo, director of the Boca a Boca Dental clinic affirms that «childhood sleep apnea usually appears in children between 1 and 6 years old and if it is not treated in time it can lead to more serious problems such as arrhythmias, anxiety, loss of attention or memory ».

How to detect childhood sleep apnea

When excessive wear is observed on the teeth without an apparent cause, it is a first indicator that you may have sleep apnea. Hypertrophic sore throats, short lingual frenulum, malocclusions, problems in diction or the pointed palate, are some of the oral problems that can cause the appearance of this disease.

For Dr. Vignolo it is very important to detect it as quickly as possible since the sooner the treatment begins the consequences will be less. For this doctor, an expert in treating this type of problems in children, the main symptoms to detect it are:

Interrupted or costly breathing for more than ten seconds

Snoring at bedtime

Tiredness and drowsiness during the day

·Lack of concentration

OSAS causes breathing to occur through the mouth instead of through the nose, something that is very negative for oral health since it can cause dry mouth, tooth wear or even cavities.

For Dr. Vignolo, having a proper sleep routine is essential for well-being and quality of life. Poor rest is closely related to oral health, in fact, people who sleep little are more likely to eat between meals and consequently have a higher incidence of cavities.

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