Snoring in Children
Take Your Child’s Snoring Seriously
Sometimes, parents think their child’s snoring is cute. We hear things like, “Awh, he snores just like his daddy!” and “Isn’t it cute how she snores?” In reality, snoring isn’t cute, and it should be taken seriously—in adults and especially children. The snoring sound you hear results from air rushing past a partial obstruction in your child’s throat. If their throat were clear, you’d simply hear breathing sounds. The louder and more frequent your child snores, the larger the obstruction likely is.
How is a parent supposed to know when their child’s snoring is a health concern? First, think about how long they’ve been snoring. If it just started and they have a stuffy nose, or it’s the change of a season, the snoring could be due to a temporary condition like a cold or allergies. Be sure to pay attention to their breathing during sleep when these situations improve. If there isn’t a simple explanation for their snoring, it’s frequent and more than just breathing sounds, your little one could have sleep-disordered breathing.
We understand that hearing this is stressful and frightening. Any health issue that concerns children is. It can be hard to find the proper diagnosis when it seems like medical professionals don’t work together. The doctors at ASAP Pathway are different and can help.
ASAP Pathway Doctors Can Help
ASAP Pathway dentists are focused on the whole health of your child. They don’t just work alongside but work with other medical professionals to get your child the best management. We’ll get you in contact with an expert in pediatric sleep-disordered breathing, so your child has a better chance at a healthy and flourishing life.
Childhood Snoring is a Sign of Pediatric Sleep Disordered Breathing
While not all snorers have sleep-disordered breathing, it’s still one of the primary signs. Pay attention to your child’s behavior during sleep and daytime to see if your child needs an appointment with an ASAP Pathway doctor. If you’re having trouble determining, take this quiz.
Signs of sleep-disordered breathing are present during the day and at night. At night, you may hear choking or gasping for breath, bedwetting, mouth breathing, night terrors, or you may witness stoppages in breathing.
During the day, sleep-disordered breathing will present as signs of sleep deprivation. They’ll have trouble concentrating, daytime sleepiness, behavioral problems, learning difficulties, fatigue, depression, headaches, or they may be misdiagnosed with ADHD. These daytime symptoms can look like root issues themselves. Having doctors who work together is crucial for your child’s health and wellbeing.
How Sleep Deprivation Affects Your Child
Sleep deprivation can happen regardless of how many hours your child spends in their bed with their eyes closed. When they have an obstruction, they aren’t getting the quality sleep they need for their bodies and brains to restore for the coming day. Sleep-disordered breathing disrupts their sleep cycle, and not reaching or spending enough time in each stage can be dangerous.
During deep sleep, your child’s body does important work. It replaces damaged cells and releases hormones that their bodies need to restore. Without this, they’ll wake up physically tired and possibly sore.
The work that their brain does during sleep is just as important. Cerebrospinal fluid washes over your child’s brain (yours too!) during sleep and cleans away all the toxic debris created from different brain activities during the day. When these toxins are allowed to build up, they’ll start causing damage to your child’s frontal lobe. That’s the part of their brain that makes decisions, learns, and remembers. How can they learn and behave when they aren’t getting enough sleep? Well, they can’t.
How to Manage Childhood Snoring
Obstructions can come from soft tissues in your child’s airway, such as the tongue or the nose. ASAP Pathway doctors manage the cause, not just the symptoms. That’s why determining the cause of your child’s snoring is the first step in finding an effective management. Then we’ll look at the severity of their snoring and obstruction to determine which managements might work.
- Surgery: If your child’s obstruction is minor, surgery isn’t a likely option. But if the block is due to large tonsils or adenoids, we may discuss surgery.
- CPAP: CPAP is effective for managing childhood sleep apnea. CPAP is a viable option if the obstruction is severe enough to cause apneic events.
- Appliance therapy: Appliance therapy can treat manage snoring and mild to moderate forms of sleep apnea.
- Myofunctional therapy: This exercise-based therapy encourages healthy jaw development and airway muscle tone. This will fix the problem and head off future issues.
- Orthodontics or orthopedics: Your child’s jaw might be positioned too far back or their palette too narrow. In that case, orthodontics can fix childhood snoring and head off future issues.
Get In Touch with an ASAP Pathway Doctor Today
If you’re worried that your child’s snoring is sleep-disordered breathing, contact one of our ASAP Pathway doctors today. These dentists are specially trained to identify, diagnose, and manage sleep-disordered breathing in children.
Your child can live a happy, healthy life with the help of ASAP Pathway and our member doctors. Use our provider map to find a doctor near you. A healthy future for your child is easier and closer than you think.