Airway Expansion & Myofunctional Therapy
Did You Know That 9 Out Of 10 Children In America Suffer From Symptoms Related To Sleep Disordered Breathing?
Sleep Disordered Breathing (SDB) occurs when a child does not get the optimal amount of oxygen that they need at night due to myofunctional habits and/or a narrow airway.
Wow, that sounds scary, right!?
The fact of the matter is that, while yes it is certainly scary, majority of children adjust to their narrow airway by compromising their sleeping habits to get the air that they need. This compromise manifests into things such as arching and extending the back and neck, teeth grinding, mouth breathing, and frequent night awakenings. The end result is then a child who consistently has poor quality sleep.
So what types of habits can narrow a child’s airway and contribute to SDB?
-Thumb or finger sucking
-Tongue Thrust and/or Reverse Swallow Pattern
-Improper Tongue Positioning
Any of the above habits train the lower jaw to become underdeveloped in a retruded position. When the lower jaw has a growth restriction the airway remains narrow and closed off. It is also important to note that a child may have a narrow airway and retruded jaw position even in the absence of the above mentioned habits.
Guiding the growth back to the proper position requires a combination of eliminating improper habits, expanding the narrow dental arches, and utilizing myofunctional and breathing therapy to retrain the muscles of the oral cavity and airway.
If a child continues to grow with an under developed oral cavity there are several undesirable potential future long term consequences that may arise such as:
-Snoring That Can Progress To Sleep Apnea
-Poor Concentration And School Performance
At Sunshine Smiles Of Orange County, Dr. Kalantari’s mission is to improve the quality of life in the children of Mission Viejo and surrounding Orange County by evaluating and helping to treat their airway concerns. Dr. Kalantari is able to this with her thorough, 4 step process that is custom tailored to each child and aimed at determining and helping to eliminate root causes of airway and swallowing dysfunction.
1.Full Evaluation And Records Taking
2.Referral Recommendations To Other Specialists As Needed
3.Habit Correction (can include habit corrector, myofunctional therapy, breathing exercises, etc)
4.Expansion Of The Dental Arches
As the goal of this process is to eliminate harmful habits and expand the oral cavity, final alignment and straightening of teeth is a separate treatment process that can be done in office with clear aligners or can be done by any area orthodontist. An additional benefit of expanding the oral cavity is that when a child is ready to take the next step of teeth alignment, there will be ample room to do so!
If you are concerned about your child’s oral habits, sleeping symptoms, or narrow oral cavity – contact Sunshine Smiles Of Orange County today to set up a free initial consultation with Dr. Kalantari.