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Airway Obstructions Detected By A Dentist

Does your child have problems at school?  Are the teachers talking to you about your childs inability to focus and concentrate?  New research suggests that lack of attention in school could be a tired child who does not sleep well from breathing problems because of adenoids or tonsils.

Although adenoids or tonsils are the bodys first line of defense in the bodys immune system, sometimes they may cause more problems and are more of a liability than an asset.   In fact people with constant sore throats when they get a cold, usually think the problem is due to inflamed tonsils.  When the tonsils are removed they report less frequency of sore throats and often are very happy to not have tonsils.

Adenoids or tonsils can constricted airways.   Since children have a smaller airway passage, this airway restriction affects childrens ability to sleep properly and have a good rest.  There also may be signs that are similar to adult sleep apnea.  New science has demonstrated the importance of proper airways in children.   Look for signs such as:

--Breathing through the mouth instead of through the nose --Noses sounding blocked when speaking --A constant runny nose --Noisy breathing during the day --Frequent ear infections --Snoring --Restlessness during sleep, --Pauses in breathing for a few seconds at night (a strong sign of sleep apnea).

Sometimes removing adenoids and tonsils is recommended when they are excessively enlarged or often infected.  Removing them doesnt affect their immune system. Frequency of illnesses and sore throats is often reduced after removal.   They can be enlarged without being infected.  Obstructive problems in children due to enlarged adenoids and tonsils can occur in the absence of strep throat or sore throats. Children who have had their sleep disrupted due to obstructions may have daytime sleepiness and fatigue. In fact, children are more apt to be irritable and have poor concentration, not tiredness, during the daytime due to poor quality of sleep. This can result in an inability to concentrate and poor performance in school.

So if your childs school reports that your child may be a possible ADD child, check the above points and if you check off several of the items, then think of asking your dentist about your childs airways.  The dentist at Willow Dental Care West End will be able to discuss this with you and check the width of your childs airways.  There is a scale that exists that helps to grade the opening.


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