Does your child snore, breathes through their mouth or grinds their teeth?
If you’ve answered yes, these could be signs of enlarged tonsils and adenoids, which may be contributing to obstructive sleep apnoea or sleep-disordered breathing.
Mouth breathing can have devastating effects on the development of the face and airways.
It may lead to long, narrow faces, retruded lower jaw and chin, crooked teeth due to lack of space, future jaw pain and headaches and obstructed airways during sleep.
When airways are obstructed the brain bounces out of deep into lighter sleep to grind or clench teeth to push the jaw forward to allow for easier breathing again. Thus grinding and clenching is the body’s way of re-opening collapsed airways.
If deep sleep is often interrupted the body doesn’t have a chance to rest, repair and heal from the stress of the day. This can affect children by making them bounce from hyperactivity to tiredness quickly. It may also affect their concentration, immune system and weight.
What can you do?
• Make sure your child can breathe through their nose with ease
• Make sure your child is treated for any allergies as they can exacerbate mouth breathing
• Seek a consultation with your dentist to assess your child’s jaw and tooth development
• Seek a consultation from an Ear Nose Throat (ENT) specialist to assess your child’s airways, adenoids and tonsils