SCOTTS VALLEY, SANTA CRUZ, CA
Your child’s growth and development heavily depend on nutrition, exercise, and sleep quality. When your child doesn’t sleep well, it can create behavioral and eating problems and an inability to focus. Unfortunately, when your child snores, it can disrupt their sleep and signify a more complex problem requiring medical intervention. Therefore, our Scotts Valley airway dentists share on the blog today if it is OK for kids to snore and the available treatments for advanced cases.
What causes my kid to snore?
Snoring occurs when air cannot pass freely through the airway. As a result, as the child inhales or exhales, surrounding tissues make noise as they vibrate, also known as snoring.
Although there is a long list of causes for snoring in children, our Santa Cruz dentists who treat pediatric snoring share some of the most common snoring reasons below.
- Swollen or large tonsils and adenoids – Tonsils and adenoids are part of the body’s immune system and are located near the back of the throat. When enlarged or swollen due to infection, they can obstruct the airway, resulting in snoring. Many sleep-disordered breathing cases in children are due to swollen or large tonsils and adenoids. Therefore, if you believe that your child’s tonsils or adenoids are enlarged, schedule an airway evaluation in Scotts Valley.
- Obesity – Overweight children are more likely to snore, according to scientific studies. Obese children may experience a narrowing of the airway, which increases their obstructive sleep apnea risk. We recommend speaking with your child’s pediatrician for ways to help your child achieve a healthy weight. Children should never be put on a diet without a doctor’s consultation.
- Anatomic characteristics – Some children naturally have anatomic characteristics that make breathing challenging while sleeping. For example, when the nostrils are not separated equally, such as having a deviated septum, it may cause your child to mouth breathe and snore. While you may not be able to see whether your child has a deviated septum, an airway evaluation may detect these anatomical characteristics.
- Congestion, Allergies, Asthma – Congestion and airway inflammation from common colds, allergies, or asthma can block the airway and cause snoring. If your child suffers from year-round or seasonal allergies, speak with your child’s pediatrician about whether they should start daily allergy medication to relieve their symptoms. Furthermore, ensure your child’s asthma is well controlled if they have it.
Is it dangerous if my kid snores?
Children who infrequently snore are not usually in a dangerous condition. For instance, if your child has a cold, he or she may snore for a few nights or until their congestion clears. However, those who snore regularly or severely could have a more advanced sleep-disordered breathing condition that can lead to significant health consequences if left untreated. Our Los Gatos dentists who treat snoring in children explain that obstructive sleep apnea can cause significant sleep disturbances, impair brain development, create cardiovascular complications and behavioral problems. Furthermore, cognitive development and academic performance suffer in kids who snore regularly instead of those who rarely or never snore. Therefore, if you notice that your child is snoring three nights per week or more or gasps for breath while sleeping, it is time to seek treatment from a medical professional to prevent potential adverse health risks. We’d like parents also to know that snoring isn’t the only indicator of sleep apnea in children. Your child may exhibit other symptoms of sleep apnea, have behavioral disorders like ADD or ADHD, or have dark circles under their eyes if they aren’t breathing well while sleeping. Also, be on the lookout for open mouth posture and breathing during the daytime as well.
What treatments are available to help my kid stop snoring?
Every child who visits our Scotts Valley dental office requires different treatment approaches, as no two children have the exact needs. Therefore, we recommend that parents schedule a consultation for their children to determine their snoring extent and possible treatment options. Our treatments focus on non-invasive solutions like oral appliance therapy. Surgery is an option retained for advanced cases and not performed unless necessary for your child’s health.
Sleep Apnea Dentists in Los Gatos, Santa Cruz, and Scotts Valley, California
Protecting your children everywhere possible is a natural parental instinct. However, although your child’s snoring may seem cute, it could drastically hinder their overall quality of life and health. Therefore, if you notice your kid often snoring while sleeping, our Los Gatos family dentists encourage you to schedule an appointment at Ebrahimian Integrative Dentistry for a consultation. Please call our office at (831) 438-4411 or contact us online to schedule an appointment.