Shut your mouth! Why does my kid sleep with his mouth open?

why does my kid sleep with his mouth openMiami and Coral Gables, FL

Does your child sleep with his or hers mouth open or loudly snore while sleeping? If so, your child may suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Most people associate OSA with older adults or adults who are overweight, but OSA can strike even young children as well. Under normal circumstances, children should not be mouth breathers, especially while sleeping. If this sounds like your child, read further.

OSA results from a restricted airway, meaning air is not able to pass through the airway properly, which interrupts sleep. Sometimes OSA in children is caused by an improper positioning of the mandibular (lower) jaw or by enlarged tissue of the adenoids or tonsils. The goal in treating OSA is to open the airway, allowing for proper airflow. Ignoring your child’s OSA causes health and behavioral issues both now and later in life.

Symptoms commonly associated in children with OSA include mouth breathing during the night, restlessness while sleeping, sleeping in unusual positions and episodes of choking or gasping for air while sleeping. Also, waking up during the night for unknown reasons, and age-inappropriate bed wetting. Some children who suffer from OSA begin to exhibit behavioral and even cognitive issues from a lack of adequate sleep. Behavioral issues include poor focus, crankiness, and hyperactivity. Your child may also perform poorly in school or sports. If you find that your child exhibits any of these symptoms, consider a sleep study for your child.

To diagnose OSA, your child can undergo a sleep study that records their sleep patterns. The dentists at Miami Designer Smiles help diagnose and treat OSA in children. OSA is treated differently for each patient, which is why a consultation is important. In some children, wearing a repositioning device while sleeping helps to open their airway, providing them with proper airflow. However, some children may require surgery to remove the enlarged tissue of the adenoids or tonsils. Sleep is a crucial component for your child’s development. If you believe your child suffers from OSA, do not delay. Call Miami Designer Smiles for a consultation. We welcome patients of the Miami and Coral Gables, Florida areas.