Blocked Pediatric Airway

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Blocked Pediatric Airway

As much as you don’t always want to admit it, your child is the quintessential “problem child.” They struggle in school, enjoy bullying other children, and rarely listen to anything you tell them. Even though they’re past the “terrible two’s” they still throw temper tantrums to get what they want. When you look online for the cause, everyone’s saying the same thing: bad parenting or ADHD.

You feel like all of this is your fault — that your child’s poor behavior is reflective of your parenting. In reality, there’s a good chance your child is suffering from something a little less obscure: an obstructed airway. Obstructed airways keep children from sleeping at night, just as sleep apnea does in adults. When a child can’t sleep, their performance in school and their behavior at home is directly affected. They’re tired and because they’re young, the only thing they know to do in response is lash out.

If it’s not ADHD then what is it?

Instead of giving the child a multitude of harmful drugs (as doctors do when they “treat” ADHD), we treat children with sleep-disordered breathing from a more holistic approach. Dr. Bobbi takes a look at what’s causing the obstruction and tries to treat the problem at its root. Because of this, our team has an extremely high success rate when it comes to fixing an obstructed pediatric airway.

By the end of the treatment, parents are always amazed by how dramatically different their child is. If you think your child may be suffering from an obstructed airway, schedule an appointment today. One appointment could make a huge difference in your child’s life.

What are the symptoms of a blocked airway?

Is your child:

  • Snoring
  • Experiencing daytime drowsiness
  • Performing poorly in school
  • Mouth-breathing
  • Experiencing severe, untreated allergies

If you replied “yes” to any of these, schedule an appointment at Stanley Dentistry as soon as possible.

What causes a blocked pediatric airway?

As children grow, and their permanent teeth come in, their facial shape changes dramatically. The jaw develops, the roof of the mouth becomes larger, and they begin to look more and more like a grown-up and less and less like a child. If everything develops correctly, your growing child will have a proper profile and a healthy, open airway. But, if things don’t develop correctly (as is often the case), there can be serious, long-term problems.

A major reason why a child’s facial structure may not develop correctly is because of a blocked pediatric airway. Mouth breathing and bruxism (teeth grinding) are two of the most dangerous symptoms of a blocked airway. Regular mouth breathing forces the mouth to develop abnormally. Bruxism can cause permanent damage to tooth enamel and the jaw.

A few of the causes of an obstructed pediatric airway include:

  • Large adenoids or tonsils
  • Large tongue
  • Long epiglottis
  • Crowded mouth
  • Allergies

The soft tissue in the mouth is oftentimes significantly larger in children than adults. At night, this tissue can fall back into the throat, blocking the airway. Allergies can cause mucus buildup in the nose, encouraging mouth-breathing.

How can you fix a blocked airway in kids?

There are a few different ways to remove the obstruction in a child’s airway depending on what the obstruction is. If Dr. Bobbi determines that severe allergies are forcing your child to mouth-breathe, she’ll send you to an allergy specialist. If she thinks it’s your child’s tonsils, she might recommend getting a tonsillectomy (removal of the tonsils).

For more difficult cases, Dr. Bobbi may prescribe a variety of treatments — from oral exercises to orthodontics.

HealthyStart is the most effective orthodontic device when it comes to fixing a blocked airway. The device helps correct crowded teeth as they come in — instead of correcting them after the fact like braces do. Addressing a crowded mouth at an early age helps the palate and jaw develop properly, which then helps in opening up the airway.

Learn more about HealthyStart here.

Is it time to make an appointment?

If you suspect your child may be suffering from an obstructed airway, make an appointment. An obstructed airway can cause serious problems down the road. The sooner they can get the treatment they need, the better.