Top 10 Signs of Pediatric Sleep Apnea


sleep apnea appliances for kids


There is no reason to watch your child struggle to breath during sleep. Loud breathing sounds, snoring and bad behavior during the day are signs of problems. And you should not accept band-aid treatments such as CPAP when treatments that cure pediatric sleep apnea exist.
Dr. Adams has special oral appliances for kids who have sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing. Stop mouth breathing and sleep disordered breathing problems once and for all.


Expanders can Correct Kids Sleep Apnea and Mouth Breathing


Appliances such as the ALF Appliance, the Myobrace and DNA Appliance all can help cure sleep apnea in kids. A few other popular appliance used by Dr Adams for kids are the Schwarz, Twin Block and Crozat appliances. With proper oral appliances and treatment of tongue ties and lip ties, many cases or sleep apnea and sleep disordered breathing in kids can be cured.


How to Recognize Kids Airway Issues


Look through this list to see if your child has any of these tell-tale signs of sleep apnea. Do not hesitate to contact Dr. Adams for a consultation and screening. Appliances exist for kids to cure sleep problems.


Frequent Stuffy Noses, Allergies Poor Nasal Breathing


kids sleep apnea symptoms


The upper jaw bone is the bottom of the nose where nasal breathing happens. If your child has a deep narrow palate, the chances are their nasal breathing is poor. Most children with poor nasal breathing are kids who are mouth breathers.


Chronic Dry Chapped Lips


kids sleep apnea dental appliance

Kids who mouth breath will air-out and dry their lips.


Swollen Tonsils and Adenoids


Mouth breathing in children is a big problem. The increased air passing through the mouth (instead of the nose) drys out the tonsils and adenoids. This causes inflammation, swelling and infection in tonsils and adenoids. It also shuts down the eustachian tube, causing ear problem too.

An open mouth at rest. Child’s usual resting posture includes an open mouth position at rest. For example, if while reading or watching a movie, the mouth is open most of the time.


Tall Narrow Face and Reverse Chin position


reverse chin profile


Look at your kid’s profile from the side and see if the chin position is in towards the throat and set back. This position is called a “retrognathic” jaw position. Retrognathic jaws are closer to the airway. Since the jaw is closer to the airway, so is the tongue. Tongues are known to be the most likely structure in the mouth and throat to obstruct the airway.


Bags Under the Eyes


Bags under the eyes are a tell tale sign of poor sleep and sometimes poor blood supply to the facial structures. When facial and jaw structures are poorly developed, blood supply may not be as good and baggy, bluish skin may be observed.


Poor Spacing Between Baby Teeth or Crowding of Adult Teeth


There should be generous spacing between baby teeth to accommodate larger adult teeth. Crowding and crooked teeth are a big sign of jaw and facial under development. Baby teeth are supposed to have spacing to allow for larger adult teeth to fit.


Tongue Tie


tongue tie


The tongue stimulates growth of the jaw and facial structures by putting pressure on growing children’s mouths. When the tongue is tied down, it cannot promote growth (expand the jaws). This leads to poor nasal breathing and mouth breathing in kids.


Snoring and Loud Breathing at Night


Snoring is proof of a pediatric airway obstruction. Loud breathing is a sign of a small or obstructed airway.


Forward Head Posture


Mouth breathers have poor posture including forward head position


Facial Muscles Moving on Swallowing


When the tongue is tied, other muscles will work during swallowing. The muscles pull on bones and deform them.


Teeth Clenching During Sleep


kids teeth grinding linked to sleep apnea

Kids who mouth breath and have airway problems at night will also clench their teeth

Pacifiers, Baby Bottles, Thumbs, Oral Habits


Can push the teeth and jaw structures and deform them to be the shape of whatever is going into their mouths. We clearly do not want a mouth to be the shape of a thumb or small baby bottle.


Nightmares, Bedwetting, Poor Sleep


Airway problems produce sleep disordered breathing, sleep problems. And bad dreams and nightmares. Kids can get so stressed that they pee and wet the bed.


Daytime Tiredness or ADHD-like Behavior


If your child does not get sleep, of course they will be tired during the day. They may do things like fall asleep in the car or watching exciting movies. Sometimes kids will go the other way and just act super crazy due to sleeplessness.

Drooling and Loud Eating


Let the competition begin between food and air going through the mouth. And the lips, cheeks and tongue will be slapping and slurping.

And, of course, Crowded, Crooked Teeth


The DNA design of every child is to have mouth and jaw structure large enough to teeth and tongues to fit properly. When tongues are tied, the mouth breathing and teeth/jaw problems start. It is that simple. Luckily, with proper diagnosis and treatment with sleep apnea appliances, people can live their lives in a better and healthier way. That is there is a cure for sleep apnea for those who have it. And with early identification of risk factors, most pediatric sleep apnea cases can be prevented.

Many appliances exist for treating cooked and crowded teeth in kids. ALF appliance and Schwarz appliance are two examples that are alternatives to braces. The DNA appliance is a very common appliance for the treatment of adult sleep apnea and temporomandibular joint disorder.


Who Can Treat Sleep Apnea?


Dentist do not diagnose sleep apnea. Seeing a dentist for treatment with any oral appliance is not a substitute for being examined and diagnosed by a sleep apnea physician. Many health problems such as heart, kidney, and thyroid disease. Dentists do not diagnose or treat any of these diseases. Sleep apnea can involve problems with the central nervous system and collapse of the muscle tissue that is in the airway. Diagnosing sleep apnea involves:


  • Oximetry. A home test that if failed will lead to more testing.
  • Polysomnogram. Or an overnight sleep evaluation. This test looks at brain activity, breathing, snoring, oxygen levels, heart rate and muscle activity during sleep.
  • Electrocardiogram. Tests how the heart is performing while kids are sleeping