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Critical Pediatric Airway Checks Too Often Overlooked, Cautions Montes Periodontics and Implant Dentistry

CUMMING, Ga., Nov. 22, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Montes Periodontics and Implant Dentistry announced that the practice is working to educate parents about the importance of pediatric airway checks. Children that snore, show early signs of apnea, breathe through their mouths, have thin faces, or have crossbites may benefit from an airways check, says Cumming dentist Dr. Shelly E. Montes. A pediatric dentist or ENT doctor (ear, nose and throat) is qualified to perform the checks.

Pediatric airway checks can be instrumental for identifying obstructive sleep apnea problems in young children as well as other problems that may later lead to orthodontic complications or jaw surgery in adults, according to Cumming, Georgia, dentist Dr. Shelly Montes.

“Airways disturbances in children can range from sleep apnea to abnormal craniofacial development, including abnormal bite patterns and teeth grinding, especially during sleep,” warns Dr. Montes. “Airway checks can help identify these problems as early as possible to prevent complications.”

According to the UCLA Sleep Disorders Center, 20 percent of children snore from time to time; approximately seven to 10 percent snore nightly.

“Occasionally snoring is not always a sign of a problem with a child,” said Dr. Montes. “However in a small percentage of children, snoring is symptomatic of a bigger problem. This is why it’s so important for a child’s airway to be checked. Early diagnosis and treatment will help children sleep better at night and be more alert for school during the day.”

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is a common disorder; children may gasp or snort while snoring. Children with OSA start and stop their breathing during sleep; these starts and stops can seriously impact a child’s quality of sleep, cautions Dr. Montes.

“Children with obstructive sleep apnea are more likely to have problems at school, are at risk for delayed growth, and are also at risk for heart failure,” cautions the Cumming dentist. “Since children with OSA also have trouble concentrating during the day and can be hyperactive, these symptoms are sometimes confused with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder). An airway check is a quick, easy diagnostic assessment that can provide critical insight into the root cause for a child’s behavioral problems.”

A dentist or ENT doctor can perform a pediatric airway check; should additional care be necessary, children are referred to a specialist.

The tonsils and adenoids are also associated with airway disruptions in children; in some cases, tonsil removal may be recommended.

“Our first priority is to get children to sleep with their mouth closed, rather than open,” said Dr. Montes. “Sleeping with the mouth closed can reduce the risk for jaw misalignments and other orthodontic problems later in life.”

Montes Periodontics and Implant Dentistry offers a wide range of dental services for children and adults, including dental examinations, laser periodontics, and cosmetic dentistry. For more information, call 770-325-5562 or visit www.montesperiodontics.com.

http://sleepcenter.ucla.edu/body.cfm?id=51

Montes Periodontics and Implant Dentistry, (770) 325-5562

Source: Montes Periodontics & Implant Dentistry