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Treating Sleep Apnea for Children

Children often need more hours of sleep than adults. But if your child suffers from sleep apnea in Worcester, MA, they may not be getting the rest and recovery they need to succeed every day. Lack of proper sleep can often lead to worsening health conditions and difficulties in school. Sleep apnea can often make your child tired and sleepy during the day, even if they have a full night’s sleep. Your pediatric dentist may be able to help improve your child’s sleep with sleep apnea treatment.

Sleep Apnea in Worcester MA can affect children as easily as adults

How Pediatric Sleep Apnea in Worcester, MA, Works

Treating sleep apnea in children is often similar to treating sleep apnea in adults. Sleep apnea makes it difficult for patients to breathe at night due to irregular tissue movements in their tongues and throats. When we start to fall asleep, our muscles begin to relax. If you have sleep apnea, this can cause the soft tissue of your tongue or throat to block your airways. Sleep apnea often leads to restless nights, reducing the efficiency of your sleep.

Signs of Sleep Apnea

It’s not always easy to tell if a child has sleep apnea. While one of the most common signs of sleep apnea is snoring, not every patient experiences that symptom. Your child may have a sleep disorder if they:

  • Are constantly tired despite sleeping 8-12 hours a day
  • Fall asleep during the day
  • Are excessively tired or groggy in the morning
  • Wake up regularly through the night
  • Have difficulty focusing or concentrating
  • Complain about jaw pain or frequent headaches

If you notice any of these signs, it may be a good idea to see if your child has sleep apnea. If they do, you may be able to help treat it through dental care.

How Dentists Treat Sleep Apnea

To treat sleep apnea, dentists focus on methods that will keep airways open during sleep. For many patients, a custom oral appliance can accomplish them. Custom sleep appliances can help maintain the structure of your mouth during sleep, preventing soft tissue from blocking the airways. As an added bonus, a custom nightguard could also help your child reduce TMJ symptoms or other common disorders caused by bruxism.

Another treatment option is laser dentistry. NightLase may be able to help your child overcome sleep apnea by permanently tightening the soft tissue of their airways. Laser treatment for sleep apnea is quick, safe, and painless. With a few appointments over a two-month period, your child could have a permanent solution to their sleep problems.

If your child has difficulty sleeping, Children’s Dental Specialties may be able to help. We offer both custom oral appliances and NightLase treatment that could reduce the symptoms of sleep apnea. Call us today at (508) 625-5534 to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we could help treat your child’s sleep apnea.