Some of the most significant facial development abnormalities and problems seen in children are caused by a compromised airway or the inability to breathe properly through the nose. Proper breathing is a key part of a child's health, development and educational success. Children who cannot breathe well through their nose tend to breathe more through their mouth, which can affect their health as well as the way their facial structures develop. This ultimately affects their health and ability to thrive.
The effects of a compromised airway are most pronounced at night, because when we sleep our muscles relax and the airway tends to become more flaccid. Sleep-disordered breathing (SDB) is the term that encompasses diseases caused by improper breathing at night. The result is that a person does not receive adequate oxygen, and the effect can be catastrophic. These people often experience daytime drowsiness, short attention span, irritability, depression, relationship strain, high blood pressure, and a decreased ability to thrive. People who are successfully treated for their sleep-disordered breathing are often amazed at the improvement in their quality of life, because they didn't know how much better it was possible to feel.
New technology has allowed us to detect this "silent disease" more readily in recent years, and it has become of great interest to dentists, physicians, and orthodontists. Orthodontics alone is not indicated to treat airway issues, although we often play an important role. Ultimately, if you or your child have airway and breathing problems, we will help you to find the appropriate physician, and then play an adjunctive role in the treatment of this medical condition.
To schedule a consultation with our orthodontist and learn more about airway and breathing problems, please call our office today.