You most likely know an adult or child that has been diagnosed with ADD or ADHD. More evidence is associating these behavior issues with sleep disorder breathing. Some signs of sleep-disordered breathing are snoring, mouth breathing, and sleep apnea which is when someone stops breathing while sleeping. In a landmark study done by Dr. Karen Bonuck, snoring, mouth breathing, and witnessing apnea in a baby or toddler predicted problematic behavior at four and seven years of age.
Another article from the New York Times titled, “Diagnosing the Wrong Deficit” states that several children going in for surgery to have their tonsils removed because of breathing problems also had a diagnosis of ADHD. A year after the surgeries at their follow-up appointment, half of the children diagnosed with ADHD no longer met the criteria for the condition. In other words, what had appeared to be ADHD had been resolved by treating a sleeping problem.
Structures around the airway influence our ability to breathe and sleep including tonsils, adenoids, and upper and lower jaws. As noted above, the removal of tonsils improved breathing and sleeping which can improve behavior. Dr. Christian Guilieminault, a pioneer in the discovery and treatment of sleep disorder breathing, stated that dental arch expansion improves sleep disorder breathing in patients with upper and lower jaw constriction and can be a valid treatment.
At Redwood Dental, we have received advanced training in the diagnosis and treatment of under-developed jaws to improve sleep and possibly ADD or ADHD. Contact us to learn more.
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