If you are not able to get a good night’s rest due to a sleep-related breathing disorder, this will undoubtedly harm your quality of life. However, it is common for patients to not even realize that they are suffering from a sleep-related breathing disorder. Many patients think that they just happen to snore a lot or suffer from unexplained fatigue. It is important to recognize the symptoms and seek the treatment that you need. The most common sleep-related breathing disorder is called obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). OSA is characterized by an obstruction of the airway that occurs while sleeping which cuts off breathing and prevents air from reaching the lungs. The most likely site for this obstruction to occur is the soft palate to the base of the tongue since there are no rigid structures to help maintain the airway open. OSA has been identified as the cause of behavioral and attention problems in some children. Enlarged tonsils and small structural features of the maxilla/nose, mouth, and throat may contribute to childhood OSA.
OSA is typically thought to be a condition that troubles adults but the truth is that it can trouble individuals of any age, including infants. In children, OSA can cause behavioral and attention-deficit problems. Research has linked enlarged tonsils and small structural features of the maxilla, nose, mouth, and throat to childhood OSA. OSA can be life-threatening and should be taken very seriously. OSA can only be diagnosed by a licensed medical professional and can be treated by a dentist with specialized training on these disorders. This disorder is diagnosed by a sleep study known as Polysomnography (PSG) or Home Sleep Test (HST). If you think you may be experiencing OSA, call our office to set up an appointment. We will be happy to coordinate any necessary testing, including sleep testing.