What some people may be surprised to learn is that as your Mississauga dentist, during our routine as well as comprehensive examinations, much can be concluded about your overall health beyond looking for cavities and gum disease. There is no question that the health of your teeth and gums are of paramount importance in the field of dentistry. If the eyes are the window to the soul, then the mouth is the window to the body, literally. Everything you ingest or imbibe in-food, beverages, medication, cigarettes, and alcohol must first pass through your mouth. When we are stressed, tense or anxious, we hold our tension in our jaw muscles and we in turn clench and grind our teeth, sometimes causing significant damage to various intraoral or even extraoral structures.
Here at Credit River Dental Centre, we pride ourselves on focusing not only on your teeth and gums but the mouth and body connection, as your oral condition can tell us many things about your overall health just as many health conditions can impact what we see in your mouth . One of the conditions that Credit River Dental has been screening for and addressing is Sleep Disordered Breathing. Many people are somewhat familiar with one of the conditions that falls under this category, and that is Obstructive Sleep Apnea. Obstructive sleep apnea is a medical condition in which a person stops breathing during their sleep due to a blockage in the upper airway. This can happen many time over the course of the night with the net result of the person not getting adequate deep sleep. Traditionally obstructive sleep apnea has long been assumed to be exclusive to the larger, old men who snore demographic and while age, gender and obesity are certainly risk factors for obstructive sleep apnea, we now know this condition and sleep disordered breathing is very common amongst children as well. And because you cannot tell whether or not someone has sleep apnea just by looking at them, at Credit River Dental, we screen all our patients for sleep disordered breathing, young and old, male or female.
So what are some of the things that we look for here at Credit River Dental in screening your child for obstructive sleep apnea?
1) We will have your child open wide and we will take a good look at the size of their tonsils. If they are large, they may be causing a partial obstruction of their airway and an ENT consultation may be required to asses not only their tonsils but also their adenoids
2) Does your child snore or sleep with their mouth open?
3) Does your child have a tongue tie? If the child’s tongue cannot extend out very far, it may also cause a partial obstruction of the airway
4) Does your child have severe crowding of their teeth or a very narrow upper arch?
5) Does your child grind their teeth in their sleep? If they grind AND snore, it can be assumed that they have some form of sleep disordered breathing until further tests are done
6) Does your child still wet the bed well past the diaper stage?
7) Does your child have consistently low energy and have trouble focusing or concentrating?
8) Has your child been diagnosed with ADHD or behavioural problems? If so, it would be prudent to have a sleep test performed prior to having your child take any prescription medications for the condition
If you have any questions or suspect that your child may have sleep apnea, please feel free to contact Credit River Dental in Mississauga at 905-278-4297, or email us at [email protected]. For more information on Sleep Apnea, please click here.