Some children snore, but this is not a good thing. In this report, Dr. Blake Perkins of Dental Sleep Medicine in Vancouver, Washington explains why childhood snoring is a problem and what parents can do about it.
Dr. Perkins says that it is never “normal” for children to snore. Snoring happens when a person’s airway is blocked for some reason. Tissue in the back of the throat moves around and produces the distinctive sound of snoring. The underlying cause is that something is in the way of a child’s breathing, “and it can’t be good.”
If a child is snoring, parents should first see a physician to see if perhaps the cause is enlarged adenoids or tonsils, or possibly a blockage in the nasal passages forcing mouth breathing. The point of the visit to the doctor is to determine whether any medical condition is causing the snoring.
After that, the child should see a dentist to see if the palate and jaw are growing and developing properly. Any problems in those areas can affect the size of the airway and cause snoring. After getting both medical and dental opinions, parents can decide whether a medical or an orthodontic approach is what is needed.
The surgical procedures to remove tonsils, adenoids, or other tissues are fairly standard procedures, Dr. Perkins explains. Likewise, the orthodontic procedures are common procedures, involving palate expanders or other appliances that can help to encourage a wider airway.
J. Blake Perkins, DDS, is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Dental Medicine. He is the owner of Today’s Family Dentistry of Vancouver, Washington, and he is an expert in the treatment of Obstructive Sleep Apnea (OSA). He spoke with Sleep Better TV, providing online sleep breathing disorder video news content.