Early signs of oral issues can serve as warning signs for more serious sleep apnea problems so it is important to understand that your orthodontist is a valuable resource when it comes to discussing any concerns you may have about sleep apnea. By receiving proper oral care, potential sleep apnea issues can be detected early, allowing for timely intervention. If you are experiencing symptoms like snoring, insomnia, or teeth grinding, it is crucial to seek appropriate treatment for any potential sleep apnea disorders.
We take pride in offering Airway Consultations that cater to both adults and children, regardless of age. This comprehensive examination includes gathering all necessary records, such as photos, digital imaging, and scans. Dr. Gleason conducts a thorough examination and provides a detailed explanation of the findings along with any recommended treatments.
Sleep Apnea in Children
Excessive daytime sleepiness, mouth breathing, snoring, or morning headaches in children may indicate sleep-disordered breathing. Research suggests that up to 5% of children have sleep apnea, and even more may fall under the sleep-disordered breathing spectrum so early diagnosis is crucial to prevent the need for surgical correction later in life. An airway obstruction can lead to poor sleep quality and subsequent developmental issues.
Here are some signs to watch out for if you suspect that your child is suffering from sleep apnea:
- Tongue or upper lip tie, which can impede proper growth of the upper jaw.
- Dry or chapped lips.
- Red, inflamed gum tissue, indicating mouth breathing.
- History of chronic ear infections.
- Chronic allergies, runny nose, or nasal obstruction.
- Crossbite or crowded baby teeth.
- Anterior open bite (when the front teeth do not overlap).
- Teeth grinding.
- Bedwetting or restless sleep at night (excessive movement).
- ADHD-like symptoms, hyperactivity, and difficulty focusing on tasks.
Fortunately, we can utilize various treatments and orthopedic appliances to modify the size and shape of the airway in growing patients. It is important to bring your child in for an assessment as soon as airway issues are suspected. Early recognition of airway problems increases the chances of achieving harmonious physical and neural growth and development.
Sleep Apnea in Adults
Adults with sleep-disordered breathing often experience a range of symptoms, including snoring, open mouth breathing, sleep apnea, upper respiratory resistance syndrome, and difficulty falling or staying asleep. Our goal is to identify the underlying causes of these symptoms and develop personalized treatment plans using appliances or surgical recommendations to enhance your quality of life.
Dr. Gleason specializes in the use of bone-supported expanders, which go beyond simply masking the issue by actually changing the shape of the jaw. Each treatment plan is tailored to address your specific needs and aims to improve your breathing patterns.
We also offer non-surgical and minimally invasive surgical options to expand or widen the upper jaw. By utilizing bone-based expanders, such as TAD-based (mini-implant) expanders, our goal is to widen the jaw rather than solely tipping the teeth. This approach allows us to improve the airway, create more space for the tongue, open the nasal cavity, and correct crossbites.
If you are interested in the Maxillary Skeletal Expander (MSE), the next step is to schedule an airway consultation. During this consultation, we will determine if you are a potential candidate and proceed with 3-D imaging to evaluate the likelihood of successful expansion. If you would like to research MSE appliances before your appointment, Dr. Kuhta will gladly address any specific questions you may have.