Sleep apnea can have serious and damaging effects on your child’s overall health and well-being, making it essential to get the condition diagnosed as soon as possible. At Pediatric Dentistry of Denton, we understand the importance of providing sleep apnea therapy for children. Our certified pediatric dentist, Dr. Rex Gibson, is an expert in pediatric sleep apnea therapy in Denton and can provide the care your child needs to gain the restful sleep they deserve.
Sleep apnea is a sleep disorder that causes breathing to stop and repeatedly start during sleep. The most common form is obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), which occurs when the soft tissue at the back of the throat collapses and blocks the airway. Obstructive sleep apnea can cause snoring, difficulty sleeping, and excessive daytime sleepiness. It can also lead to severe health conditions such as high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, and even sudden death.
The signs and symptoms of sleep apnea in children can vary depending on age. Still, some common ones include snoring, excessive daytime sleepiness pauses in breathing during sleep, restlessness or irritability during the night, difficulty concentrating, bedwetting, and morning headaches.
In infants, signs of sleep apnea may include pauses in breathing during sleep, snorting or gasping for breath, irregular breathing patterns, and frequent waking up at night. In older children and adolescents, signs of sleep apnea may include loud snoring, difficulty staying asleep, frequent night waking and difficulty getting to sleep, mouth breathing, bed wetting, and trouble concentrating. If there is a family history of sleep apnea, it can increase the risk of your child developing it too.
Treatment options may include lifestyle changes such as avoiding caffeine before bedtime and using a humidifier in the bedroom. In addition to lifestyle changes, other treatments, such as continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machines, may be recommended in more severe cases.
We use a comprehensive approach in coordination with a Certified Sleep Physician, to diagnose and treat your child’s sleep apnea. During an appointment at Pediatric Dentistry of Denton, parents will receive an in-depth consultation with Dr. Gibson to determine the best option for treating their child’s sleep apnea. He will consider your child’s medical history and current medical condition before discussing options for treatment. He will explain the advantages and risks associated with CPAP therapy and provide detailed instructions on using the device correctly. We will also instruct you on sanitizing the device and replacing the filters when necessary.
There are several treatment options available for sleep apnea in Denton. The most common treatments include continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) and mandibular advancement devices (MADs). CPAP is an overnight procedure that provides air pressure through a mask to keep your child’s airway open while they sleep. MADs are plastic oral appliances that fit in your child’s mouth and move their lower jaw slightly forward to keep their airway open. Both treatments are non-invasive and effective at reducing or eliminating sleep apnea symptoms.
Pediatric Dentistry of Denton does not provide CPAP as a service, however, Dr. Gibson can help recommend a CPAP provider to you.
If your child has been diagnosed with sleep apnea, a CPAP machine may be recommended as the primary treatment. The CPAP, or Continuous Positive Airway Pressure, is a device that delivers a constant flow of air through a mask to help keep the airways open during sleep. This pressure helps prevent breathing pauses, which can cause sleep apnea.
Dr. Gibson recommends that parents of children with sleep apnea should take an active role in helping their children use their CPAP machine. It’s essential to ensure they understand how the machine works and are correctly fitted with a comfortable mask. Dr. Gibson also recommends that parents work with their children to find out what activities they enjoy while wearing the mask, such as reading or playing video games. Additionally, it is essential to establish a bedtime routine that will help them create positive associations with the CPAP machine and reduce their anxiety about using it.
Finally, Dr. Gibson suggests that parents should communicate regularly with their child’s doctor to ensure that the CPAP therapy is effective and that any necessary adjustments are made as needed. Regular follow-up visits also ensure that any potential side effects from the CPAP are managed effectively. With proper guidance and support from parents, children can learn how to effectively use their CPAP machine and manage their sleep apnea more successfully.
MADs (Mandibular Advancement Devices) appliances are a type of oral appliance that can be used to treat sleep apnea in children. The device’s purpose is to reposition the lower jaw slightly forward, allowing the airway to remain open while sleeping. This device is much less intrusive than other treatments, such as continuous positive airway pressure, and can be easily adjusted as the child grows.
Dr. Gibson recommends that your child get fitted for a MADs appliance as soon as possible. He believes that the earlier your child starts using the device, the more likely they will be able to find relief from their sleep apnea symptoms. He also recommends that you take your child for a sleep study to assess the severity of their condition before getting fitted for the appliance. This will ensure that the device is appropriately tailored and can provide effective treatment.
Dr. Gibson will discuss your treatment options so you can make an informed decision about your child’s care. He is dedicated to providing personalized care that addresses your family’s needs while keeping your child safe and comfortable throughout treatment.
If you suspect your child may have sleep apnea or another sleep disorder, contact us at Pediatric Dentistry of Denton today. Our expert team is here to provide comprehensive care for your child, so they can get the restful sleep they need to stay healthy and happy. We look forward to helping your family get back on track!